NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — Firefighters battled a second-alarm fire in New London Tuesday morning, and police are investigating whether it was intentionally set.
New London Police are now searching for 32-year old Timothy Settles in connection to an arson fire at 10 Rosemary Street that happened at 4 a.m.
Fire damaged areas of the house on Rosemary Street were boarded up Tuesday.
“There are some unusual circumstances with this fire,” Mayor Michael Passero of New London told reporters Tuesday.
“We did have fire showing from the first floor porch and the windows which was quickly spreading to the upper floors due to the balloon construction,” said New London Fire Chief Tom Curcio.
Firefighters faced challenges fighting the fire and now investigators are facing challenges searching for the person of interest.
“It’s a little disturbing,” said next door neighbor Amado Castellanos.
Police say the fire was set and they want to talk to Settles about it.
“Information we received is he was the last person at the door prior to the fire starting,” said New London Police Chief Peter Reichard. “In the middle of the night, correct.”
Police say Settles is the father of the one-month-old baby boy who tragically died earlier in the night when he was attacked by the family dog in Norwich.
Settles was not home at the time but the McKinley Avenue home in Norwich was listed as his address last September when he was arrested for assault and interfering with police. He is now wanted in connection to this New London arson.
Settles was last seen in the enclosed porch of the New London home, and that is where the fire was set.
Neighbors call the incident scary.
“I heard screaming and people running all over the place doing crazy,” said David Pepin. “For him to be that young and not to have a chance at life, it just tears you up.”
Amado Castellanos, a neighbor told News 8 Tuesday afternoon, “It’s a little disturbing…You never know when a fire could break out and it’s a little scary you know, especially since my mom is elderly. I have a bad leg and anything like this happens, we would need help.”
When we asked police what Settles’ connection is to the New London home, Chief Reichard said, “We’re working on that right now. We don’t know if he has a connection or if there is a family connection to this building.”
Lt. John Perry of Norwich Police added, “I think it’s important that you all know that as first responders and as mothers and fathers in our community that these types of calls are difficult to handle emotionally.”
Police are calling Settles a person of interest and say at this point no arrest warrant has been issued for him. Officers say Settles may be driving a white BMW with a New York registration.
Settles is described as a Black male, six foot tall, 240 pounds with a scar at the top of his forehead.
Anyone with information is asked to call New London PD at 860-447-5269.