Donor offers to pay for funeral of 2 children killed in Putnam fire

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© The home is all boarded up now after a double fatal fire in Putnam. © The home is all boarded up now after a double fatal fire in Putnam.

An anonymous donor stepped forward to help family cover the cost of the funerals for two children, who perished in a massive fire at an historic multi-family home in Putnam early Tuesday morning.

Just before 1 a.m., firefighters were called to Prospect Street where there was a fire at an old Victorian home, which was built by silk manufacturer George Hammond in 1867.

When firefighters arrived, two young children were still inside the home and a rescue team tried getting in, but were forced to retreat because of the thick smoke and heavy flames.

Firefighters spent more than five hours fighting the fire and when it was safe to do so, a rescue team found the bodies of Alexis Auger and her sister Ava in a third floor bedroom.

Town officials told Eyewitness News that someone has offered to pay for Alexis and Aava's funerals. It is not clear if the family will accept the offer.

The cause of death for both girls was smoke inhalation and the manner of death is accidental, according to the chief medical examiner's office.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but it has been ruled accidental. Town officials said they do not expect any foul play was involved and no fire code violations have been found.

Eyewitness News learned Tuesday that the home is in foreclosure and receivership.

Up until Tuesday, Eastern Connecticut Contractors, LLC, which has two pending lawsuits against it, owned the building.

But as of Wednesday morning, home is back in the hands of its previous owner, who is a Milford woman who was financing the mortgage.

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