The Hartford firefighter who died in Tuesday night's fire has been identified as Kevin Bell. The flag at the Blue Hills Fire Department in Hartford is flying at half staff to honor him, while down the block crews and the State Fire Marshall are investigating what caused the fire that killed the 48-year-old.
Funeral services are set for Bell for Monday, Oct. 13 at 10 a.m. at First Cathedral Church in Bloomfield.
Mayor Pedro Segarra said Bell's firefighter brothers who were injured included Jason Martinez, who was critically injured with burns over 10 percent of his body, and Colin McWeeny and Kevin Burke, who were treated for minor injures and released.
Martinez, 29, was taken to Bridgeport Hospital's burn unit where he is in critical but stable condition. McWeeny, 34, and Burke, 51 were treated and released after receiving minor injuries. Martinez works on Tactical unit 1. McWeeny works on Engine 14, Burke on Engine Number 5.
Segarra said in a press conference that Bell, "is a hero." Segarra said he spent time with the lost firefighter's family Tuesday night and said their grief and suffering is indescribable.
"Right now the families are grieving, we are grieving along with them," said Segarra. "We are reminded of their courageous, noble actions and what they do everyday to protect our city." Segarra said the city is offering counseling to employees in the wake of the death and injuries. He said
The fire on Blue Hills Avenue was in a two floor, two family home. Crews responded, knocking the fire out, and no one that lived in the house was injured.
Recordings from Hartford Fire radio traffic show that the situation escalated within minutes of the crews arriving on the scene at 6:38 p.m. Here are some of the key moments:
6:46:11 p.m.: (Yelling in the background ) "Get him out of there."
6:46:28 p.m. : "Command to all units, command to all units, bail out! All units, come out of the building now! "
6:47:00 p.m. : "Command to all companies get out of the building right away!"
6:53:48 p.m. : "He's going to go back in and look for that member...I got him Chief, I got a TAC Crew with Engine 5 with a line."
Several hours later, crews radioed:
10:51:40 p.m.: "Permission to put flags at half staff... half mast."
The cause of the fire is under investigation.