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Officials Identify Victim of Grafton Church Fire

An update in our top story for the past two days, as authorities have confirmed the identity of a man killed in Tuesday’s church fire in Grafton, New Hampshire.

57-year old John Connell, the church’s founder who lived in an apartment within the building, was confirmed dead by officials. The 200-year old Peaceful Assembly Church on Route 4 caught fire around 11:00 on Tuesday morning.

Firefighters were able to knock down the flames and enter the building by 5 PM, where they found a then unidentified body. Connell’s whereabouts were not known during or after the fire, though his cars were parked nearby.

An autopsy confirmed the body was indeed Connell’s, who had died from smoke inhalation.

Crews from more than six different towns assisted Grafton firefighters on the scene, including the Hartford, Lebanon and Hanover fire departments.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation tonight.

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