The Stamford Advocate, Conn.
Nov. 29—HEBRON — A town official said Wednesday emergency responders answered about 100 false 911 calls since January at a local home where a man died and two others were seriously hurt in a fire last weekend.
Bryan Hoffman, a resident of the Hope Valley Road home that burned to the ground during the early-morning hours on Saturday, has been identified as the person who died. The state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, which spelled his name as Brian Hoffman, said the cause of death is still pending further tests.
"We knew something bad was going to happen, we just didn't know it would be this bad," said Town Manager Andrew Tierney, who added that when he saw the initial 911 call for the fire early Saturday he thought it was another false alarm.
Tierney said the previous 911 calls included false reports of fires and Colchester officials sent him a letter indicating they would no longer provide mutual aid on calls to the Hope Valley Road home.
Neighbors had also expressed concern for their safety, Tierney said.
In August, Hoffman, 22, was arrested on charges of first-degree criminal trespass, second-degree threatening and breach of peace. He was accused of threatening to kill a neighbor and their dog, state police said. Neighbors told state police at the time they didn't feel safe around him, according to his arrest affidavit.
Hoffman had triggered a neighbor's security camera on the afternoon of Aug. 20 and was walking around the person's property, according to a police report.
One neighbor told police "that these are ongoing issues" and he was "extremely concerned of how frequent it has become," documents show.
Another neighbor told police Hoffman had driven toward her in a vehicle and yelled out the window, threatening to kill her, police said. Hoffman later returned and threatened to kill the woman's dog and drive her from the neighborhood "like I have done with everyone else," the resident told troopers, according to the documents.
During one of the dozens of visits officials made to the home this year, Tierney said the town fire marshal, who was investigating a hoarding report, discovered an area that needed to be cleared to allow for a second way out of the residence. Tierney said one of the residents used that area to escape the fire.
"It saved his life," Tierney said.
Officials have not provided an update on the conditions of the two people who escaped the fire.
Firefighters responded to the house fire around 12:05 a.m. Saturday, according to Hebron Fire Chief Peter Starkel. He said it took about 45 minutes to extinguish. But the home was a total loss. Caution tape remained up Wednesday, blocking off the property where charred vehicles were parked in front of the pile of rubble.
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