Family says Michael Randall died a hero, saving his friends in New Haven fire

News 8 Exclusive

Two days after a New Haven fire, investigators were still outside of the West Street home. Firefighters said it’s where two people died and five others were hurt. 

The family of Michael Randall said he died in the fire trying to save others.

“My brother loved, loved his son so much. He is my twin and I can’t even begin to tell you the pain that I feel inside,” said his sister, Clarise Randall.

Clarise said their brother was selfless. He would often volunteer his time at church and would help the homeless on the New Haven Green. They said he died a hero.

Clarise said, “I spoke to Kathy in the hospital and she told me, ‘your brother saved my life. I would not be here if Michael didn’t bring me to the window and get me out. I told him to come, but he couldn’t fit through the window, he was going to go to another one.’ I know my brother. He went to save Corey.”

Related Content: Victim identified, investigation continues into New Haven fire that left 2 dead

Corey Reed’s family said he died along with Michael in the fire at the New Haven home on West Street. 

Michael lived on the 3rd floor and, just after 3:00 a.m. Sunday, flames and smoke filled the house. His sister, Lillian Robinson, said she spoke with others who lived in the house.

“They said he was running around knocking on all the doors. Trying to get out the house,” she added.

They said Michael would voice concerns about not feeling safe here. They said there was only one exit on the third floor. Firefighters added that 16 people lived there and many of the rooms were being rented out individually. Several witnesses told News 8 there weren’t working smoke detectors in the home. 

Related Content: 2 occupants dead, 4 firefighters injured after early Sunday morning fire in New Haven

“They had no warning. I believe everybody could have gotten out of the house if they had some type of warning. It’s just unfortunate. Him or his friends shouldn’t have died. No one should have died,” said his brother, Ernest Randall.

“Someone needs to give me answers, I need answers into how this could possibly happen,” said Clarise.

They are planning a funeral at the Trinity Church on the Green in New Haven. 

The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with funeral costs.

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