SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (WFSB) — A lit sparkler cut one teen’s life too short and changed another’s forever in Southington.
Police said they arrested Eric Morelli, 18, in connection with the death of 19-year-old Kristen Milano.
Friends said Morelli thought he was being funny when he allegedly threw the sparkler through a second-floor apartment window on Darling Street on Sunday.
They also said he was in and out of trouble, but they never thought his immaturity would be linked to someone’s death.
“He just goes off and does what he wants to do at that time,” said Brian Goralnik, a neighbor.
Growing up next door to Morelli, Goralnik said the teen never really thought about his actions.
Southington police said they arrested Morelli on Tuesday and charged him in the death of Milano, the sister of one of his friends.
“He thought it was a good idea to throw a firework up there, trying to be funny, trying to wake him up,” said Kyle Cima-Yannell, Milano’s friend.
Milano’s friends told Eyewitness News that Morelli rode his moped over to the Summer Brook Apartments early Sunday morning. They claimed the teen then threw the lit sparkler through the window in an attempt to get the attention of Milano’s brother.
Eyewitness News learned that Milano’s brother was actually downstairs sleeping at the time.
In fact, friends said no one even knew Milano was home, let alone sleeping in the second-floor bedroom just feet away from where the sparkler allegedly landed and started the fire.
“They just thought she was still out,” said Cima-Yannell.
Milano ended up dying of smoke inhalation, according to police.
Since the fire, neighbors said they noticed police out in front of Morelli’s Westwood Road home.
“At some point, you would think that maybe he’d find the right light, the right way, and he just couldn’t find that,” said Goralnik.
Morelli bonded out Tuesday night, police said. He was charged with manslaughter and three counts of reckless endangerment.