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Thread: LODD Two Bridgeport Firefighters Killed

  1. #1
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    LODD Two Bridgeport Firefighters Killed

    Two Bridgeport Firefighters Killed
    Updated 1:08 AM EDT, Sun, Jul 25, 2010



    Two Bridgeport firefighters died Saturday afternoon fighting a house fire. Lt. Steven Velasquez and Michel Baik were killed on the third floor of a Bridgeport house.They were the furthest two firefighters inside the house when something went wrong.

    According to Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, two may day calls were made, but Velasquez and Baik were not able to make it out safely. They were found unconscious inside the house and fellow firefighters immediately administered CPR. Velazquez and Baik were not able to be revived and were pronounced dead at the hospital.

    The call for a house fire at 41 Elmwood Avenue came in to the fire department at 3:48p.m. Mayor Finch said firefighters responded from the interior and from the outside. The two men did not have hoses, and were providing assistance for the other firefighters.

    Everyone inside the the home was rescued without injury. Three other firefighters were hurt with either broken bones or heat exhaustion. They are expected to be ok.


    Lt. Steven Velasquez was promoted in February. He was recently married and has an infant.

    "When we told his wife, she was holding the infant. It's very tough," said Mayor Finch.

    Michel Baik is father of three and has been on the fire department for two years.

    Fairfield Fire Department is now helping with mutual aid because firefighters on the scene will not be allowed to return to active duty until they receive counseling. Nearly half the fire department responded to the fire.

    The cause of the fire is under investigation. This was the first on duty firefighter fatality in Bridgeport since 1999.


    http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/l...-99183349.html

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    Two Connecticut Firefighters Killed in House Fire

    Two Connecticut Firefighters Killed in House Fire


    BY GENEVIEVE REILLY

    -
    Connecticut Post, Bridgeport

    BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Lt. Steven Velazquez and Firefighter Michel Baik were on the third-floor of the wood-frame home at 41 Elmwood Ave., checking for hot spots and making sure there were no people in the smoldering blaze. Then trouble hit. The two sent mayday signals back to dispatch.

    Within minutes, the fire department's rapid intervention team found the pair on the floor, unconscious, and gave them CPR.

    The two men could not be revived.

    Hours later, a somber Mayor Bill Finch at a news conference talked about the two, both family men with young children. Velazquez was Finch's neighbor, and the mayor recalled pinning his badge on him when he was promoted to lieutenant in February. Baik, he said, was a rookie with two years on the job.

    Fire officials were too upset to attend the press conference, Finch said, adding Chief Brian Rooney, who was out of state when the fire hit, sped back to Bridgeport to be with his men. "They're just too emotional to talk about it," Finch said.

    Finch seemed close to tears when talking about how Velazquez's widow held the couple's newborn when he delivered the news of her husband's death. "It was not easy," he said. "They were both dedicated to their families. We're really going to miss them."

    Velasquez had received the medal of merit, the department's third-highest award, in 2000.

    The last time the department lost a member was in 1999, when Walter Flyntz died in a fire on Fairfield Avenue.

    The initial report of the fire at the multi-family wood structure was called in at 3:53 p.m., and all of the building's occupants were safely evacuated, according to Finch.

    Deputy Fire Chief Robert Petrucelli said he arrived on the scene 15 minutes into the fire and found heavy smoke coming from the second and third floors.

    "Firefighters were making progress on the fire," Finch said, "knocking down the flames."

    He said Velazquez and Baik were the furthest inside the house, doing search and rescue and ventilating the house.

    There's no immediate word on what caused the fire, and Finch said the State Fire Marshal's Office will be investigating not only the cause of the blaze, but also looking at the equipment used by the deceased firefighters. Officials believe, however, that the fire started in the second-floor apartment.

    Finch said that Velazquez and Baik were found "in a matter of minutes" after the mayday calls, adding more information "will come out in the investigation."

    Three other firefighters were taken to the hospital, Finch said. One had a broken ankle -- an eyewitness said he saw a firefighter fall out of a third floor window -- and the other two were treated for heat exhaustion.

    Finch said he visited the three injured firefighters at Bridgeport Hospital. "They were very somber and subdued," he said. "They knew we'd lost Steve and Mich."

    Even at 9 p.m., long after the fire was extinguished, Finch said some Bridgeport firefighters remained at the scene.

    "They're very emotional, it's a close-knit fire department," Finch said. "It's very hard when they lose a member.

    Almost "half the department" was at the fire, the mayor said, and the first truck -- Engine 3 -- was actually on its way to an elevator rescue when firefighters spotted the smoke and diverted to the fire.

    Firefighters from Milford and Fairfield provided mutual aid during the fire, and Fairfield firefighters, their equipment and their chief, Richard Felner, stayed to fill in for the Bridgeport crews.

    At the Congress Street headquarters, Felner said, the Bridgeport firefighters were being debriefed and receiving any help they might need.

    "We'll stay here as long as they want us; we're here for them. It's a bad, bad scene, especially for the crew that was working with them."

    Finch said he was grateful for the assistance from other communities.

    While Fairfield firefighters filled in for Bridgeport, crews from Norwalk and Westport were covering in Fairfield, he said.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service

    http://www.firehouse.com/news/lodd/t...led-house-fire

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    Two City Firefighters Perish in Line of Duty

    7/24/2010 12:00:00 AM - Two City Firefighters Perish in Line of Duty BRIDGEPORT, CT (July 24, 2010) On Saturday afternoon, an ordinary house fire at 41 Elmwood Avenue turned deadly for 2 Bridgeport firefighters. Lieutenant Steven Velasquez and Firefighter Michel Baik were found unconscious on the third floor of the house, after they sent out mayday calls. They were recovered by the fire department's rapid intervention team, and CPR was administered at the scene. Lieutenant Steven Velasquez was pronounced dead at St. Vincent’s Medical Center and Firefighter Michel Baik was pronounced dead at Bridgeport Hospital. Velazquez had just been promoted to lieutenant in February 2010, and Baik had been a firefighter for two years. Velazquez and Baik were the furthest inside the house, doing search and rescue and ventilating the house. Mayor Finch said, “Bridgeport is mourning the loss of two of its bravest. I urge you all to pray for the firefighters and their families during this most trying time.” The Mayor has requested all flags on City buildings to fly at half-staff in honor of the fallen firefighters until further notice. Firefighters from Engine 3 were first on the scene and were quickly joined by Engines 1, 4 and 7, Ladders 5 and 11, Rescue 5 and the Battalion Chief. The last time a firefighter died in the line of duty was in 1999, when Firefighter Walter J. Flyntz perished in a blaze on Fairfield Avenue. The cause of the fire will be under investigation by the state Fire Marshal’s office. Officials suspect the fire broke out in the second floor apartment. Mayor Finch stated that Velazquez and Baik were found “in a matter of minutes" after the mayday calls. Three other firefighters were taken to the hospital. One had a broken ankle and the other two were treated for heat exhaustion. The initial report of the fire at the multi-family structure was called phoned in to officials at 3:53 p.m. Deputy Fire Chief Robert Petrucelli said he arrived on the scene 15 minutes into the fire and found heavy smoke coming from the second and third floors.

    http://www.bridgeportct.gov/pages/Ne...aspx?itemid=84

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    FaceBook Bridgeport Fire Dept. Web Link.

    BFD Facebook link.
    http://www.facebook.com/event.php?ei...a=8&ajaxpipe=1


    Funeral information.


    Updated On: Jul 27, 2010 (12:50:00)


    It is with deepest regret and sorrow to report the line-of-duty death of two members of IAFF Local 834 - Bridgeport, Connecticut. Lieutenant Steven L. Velasquez, 40, and Fire Fighter Michel Baik, 49, were killed while fighting a residential fire on Saturday, July 24, 2010.



    The viewing for Brother Velasquez will be held on Thursday, July 29, 2010 from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Klein Auditorium, 910 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport, Connecticut 06605; (203) 337-6195.




    The viewing for Brother Baik will be held on Thursday, July 29, 2010 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Abriola Parkview Funeral Home, 419 White Plains Road, Trumbull, Connecticut 06611; (203) 373-1013.


    The funeral service for Brother Velasquez will be held on Friday, July 30 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Augustine Cathedral, 359 Washington Avenue, Bridgeport, Connecticut 06604, (203) 368-6777.




    The funeral service for Brother Baik will be held on Friday, July 30 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church, 5458 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, Connecticut 06604, (203) 372-9767.

    A Collation honoring both our Brothers will be held on Friday, July 30, 2010 at the conclusion of the services at the Arena at Harbor Yard, 600 Main Street, Bridgeport, Connecticut.

    Local 834 and Bridgeport Fire Department have established a fund to support the families of the two fallen fire fighters. Donations to the "Bridgeport Fallen Firefighters Fund" can be made through the Bridgeport Fire Department Employees Federal Credit Union at 3115 Madison Ave., Bridgeport CT 06606, Attn: Bridgeport Fallen Firefighters Fund. The credit union can be reached at (203) 374-8120 or 1-800-242-8120. Other expressions of sympathy or condolences can be sent to Local 834 at 30 Congress Street, Bridgeport, CT 06604 or emailed to bfdlocal834@aol.com<mailto:bfdlocal834@aol.com>.

    The Holiday Inn Bridgeport, CT is the host hotel if you are staying overnight.

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    Bridgeport's tears

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    [B][SIZE="5"]Bridgeport

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