New Haven

Meriden man found dead in woods hours after fire breaks out in home

MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) - A Meriden man was found dead by suicide in the woods, several hours after a fire broke out at his home on Monday morning. 

The Meriden Police Department confirms that at around 5:30 a.m., fire crews were on the scene of a fire at 45 Side Hill Road. 

Friends and neighbors of the homeowner tell News 8 that she was coming home from work a little after 5 a.m. when she saw some smoke and then found flames inside of the garage. 

Firefighters believe that the blaze had started inside of the garage somehow and then extended up into the rest of the home. 

There was speculation earlier that there was someone missing in the house because the homeowner lives with her son who was not on scene. But neighbors say that the son had already left for work when the fire started.

However, several hours later, a suspicious vehicle was found near River Road. Police then found the son, identified as 35-year-old Justin Miller, nearby in the woods, dead from a suicide. 

At this time, the fire department is investigating the fire portion of the investigation and the police is investigating the death of the son. It has not been determined if the fire and the dead body are related.

Additionally, one firefighter suffered minor injuries on the scene of the fire, after falling through the floor. The floor of the living quarters had collapsed down into the garage. 

"We had crews interior on the first floor and we actually had a fireman partially fall through the floor and that makes us back up and take a second look at what we're doing and slow things down a little bit," said Chief Ken Morgan, Meriden Fire Dept.

Fire crews from Berlin also responded to assist in fighting the fire. 

It is unknown what caused the fire at this time. 

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