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Husband arrested following Old Saybrook fire

By Izaskun E. Larraņeta and Greg Smith

Publication: theday.com

Published February 22. 2013 9:00AM   Updated February 23. 2013 3:22PM

Old Saybrook — An Old Saybrook couple remained in critical condition at different hospitals Friday evening following a domestic incident and suspicious fire early Friday morning that led to criminal charges against the husband.

The arrest of 60-year-old Glenn Alburtus on multiple felony charges came after a series of events that started with a 911 call from a cellphone at 5:15 a.m.

In a press release, police Lt. Kevin Roche said police responded to the couple's home at 19 Beaver Dam Trail to find a woman in the house yelling for help from the second floor. Officers went inside and discovered the home was on fire. Fire and smoke forced officers out of the house, Roche said.

Neighbors said that the woman, later identified by police as Susan Alburtus, had to jump to safety.

Susan Alburtus was transported by Life Star helicopter to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where she was listed in critical condition Friday night.

Glenn Alburtus, seen handcuffed to a stretcher at the scene of the fire, was under police guard at the Bridgeport Hospital burn unit Friday night and also in critical condition. So far, he is facing charges of first-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree threatening, first-degree unlawful restraint and disorderly conduct.

Roche said police anticipate additional charges as the investigation progresses. They have joined with the state, Old Saybrook and East Lyme fire marshals' offices to investigate the cause and origin of the blaze and search for evidence in what police called "the criminal aspect of case."

The Old Saybrook Police Department said they are treating this as a suspicious fire and criminal incident. Police said a search and seizure warrant were being executed at the residence.

Police said the Old Saybrook Fire Department and other area departments quickly brought the fire under control. The two-story home, which is on a cul-de-sac of well-kept properties, sustained significant damage.

A firefighter and a police officer were transported to a hospital for injuries and were treated and released, Roche said.

Neighbor Tony Lyons said his wife was awakened around 5:30 a.m. by loud, indecipherable shouting. When she peered out the window, she saw some flames coming from a home two houses away.

By the time the Lyonses went outside, the shouting had stopped and the home was engulfed in flames. He said that the woman rescued from the home appeared to be conscious but was wearing an oxygen mask as she lay on the stretcher.

The man, he said, was covered in soot and handcuffed to the stretcher.

"This is a quiet neighborhood," Lyons said. "We are not used to this happening around here. I hope everyone is OK."

Old Saybrook police ask anyone has information to contact the department at (860) 395-3142.

i.larraneta@theday.com

g.smith@theday.com

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