Neighbors of the Old Greenwich house where a fire heavily damaged the property and the scene where a man was killed and his mother critically injured
Tuesday have been concerned for years about the clutter around the property.
And it was that clutter both outside and inside the property at 46 Havemeyer Ln. that impeded Greenwich firefighters' efforts to rescue the victims and extinguish the early morning blaze that authorities have determined was deliberately set.
"About two or three months ago a Dumpster was delivered and we thought they were going to clean up the property," said Robert Meehan, who lives two doors away. However, Dean Verboven apparently used the Dumpster for household garbage rather than cleaning up the property on the corner of Havemeyer Lane and MacArthur Drive, Meehan said.
"It's been a bit of a contentious issue with the neighbors. It's kind of messy outside," Meehan added. He said it was known among neighbors "that you couldn't walk in the house...it was like a hoarder type situation."
After the fire, Greenwich Police spokesman Lt. Kraig Gray stopped short of describing the fire scene as a hoarder situation, but said the amount of clutter inside the home "impacted" firefighters' efforts to quell the blaze.
Neighbors of Dean Verboven, 42, and his mother Barbara Verboven, 69, pouring from the windows of the two-story brick and vinyl-sided house at 46 Havemeyer Ln., at the corner of MacArthur Drive in Old Greenwich.
Dean died, but police and fire marshals are awaiting the results of an autopsy to determine how he died. His mother, whom neighbors described as housebound because of health ailments, was in critical condition in the burn unit of Bridgeport Hospital.