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CT Fire Victim Was Company's Safety Chief

Monday, December 26, 2011

A man who died with his wife and three grandchildren in a Christmas morning house fire in Connecticut spent his career trying to prevent fires as safety chief at a liquor company in Kentucky.

Lomer Johnson is being remembered as a stickler for safety details by a former boss at the Louisville, Ky.-based liquor maker Brown-Forman Corp., where he retired as director of safety and security several years ago.

Former Brown-Forman executive Robert Holmes Jr. said Monday it was Johnson's job to keep plant workers safe. He says Johnson's responsibilities included planning fire drills.

"He spent his career trying to keep others safe," retired Brown-Forman executive Robert Holmes Jr. said Monday in a telephone interview. "And the irony is that he dies in a fire."

The victims in the Christmas fire in Stamford, Conn., included a 10-year-old girl and 7-year-old twin girls.

Johnson's daughter is a New York advertising executive who escaped the fire with a male acquaintance. Her burned house was torn down Monday after the buildings department determined it was unsafe and ordered it razed, local fire Chief Antonio Conte said.

Conte had no details on the investigation, and no information about the cause of the fire was released.

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