Community decorates Christmas tree in memory of man killed in West Haven fire – NBC Connecticut


A West Haven family whose uncle died after a fire last week planted a Christmas tree in his memory and community members have started decorating it.

Frederick Hart, 88, died in a fire on December 6 at his Collis Street home in West Haven.

Hart’s nephew John McCarthy describes him as a hardworking and valued man. The last few days have been difficult for McCarthy as he cries.

“It’s hard, it was my uncle, my godfather and having to come here and see the house like that every day, it’s really hard. That’s why my father-in-law gave us the idea to plant the tree, ”said McCarthy.

A few days ago, with the help of a local landscaper, they planted a Christmas tree and encouraged people to come and decorate it with ornaments.

“It seems like everyone understands and maybe even thinks beyond the fact that they might have a loved one who has passed away and they thought it was a good way to remember them as well as our Uncle Freddy, ”McCarthy said.

There are already over 25 ornaments on the tree and McCarthy said there are several that stand out from him.

“Well, I think the birds are, you know, the ones that kinda hit me the most. It’s a sign of life there, ”McCarthy said.

McCarthy and his family are grateful for the support of the community.

“It makes me happy and sad at the same time, you know,” McCarthy said. “It’s nice to see that they remember him and do great things.”

McCarthy hopes the tree is a living heirloom and something they can redecorate in years to come.

“We miss you, Uncle Fred, and we hope this is a good way to always remember you,” McCarthy said.

The West Haven Fire Department, the Office of the Fire Marshal and Connecticut State Police, the Fire and Explosives Investigation Unit (FEIU) have investigated and determined that the blaze has was declared accidentally in the living room.

About Bradley J. Bridges

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