New Haven Firefighters mourn loss of one of their own
HAMDEN — Hamden detectives are investigating the unexpected death of a New Haven firefighter, found unconscious and unresponsive early Sunday morning.
Linda Cohens, 49, was found by a neighbor on the sidewalk outside her home on West Helen Street in Hamden around 3 a.m. Sunday.
Hamden Police said Cohens appeared to have suffered a head injury. She was pronounced dead at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
The medical examiner said that initial autopsy results aren’t clear regarding the cause and manner of death, so further investigation will be necessary.
Cohens was a 17-year veteran of the New Haven Fire Department. Her father, Odell Cohens, told Fox CT his daughter was found wearing her paramedic uniform, and believed she was walking her dog before her early-morning shift.
Cohens was one of the first African-American paramedics for the New Haven Fire Department.
“She really, really believed what she was doing and took her job to heart,” said her father.
Her fellow firefighters are also remembering Cohens. “She would walk into a room and, regardless of who you were, she’d give you a big hug and kiss,” said Lt. Gary Finney. “That's the way she greeted everyone.”
New Haven Mayor Toni Harp released a statement Sunday about Cohens' death: “New Haven lost a trusted public servant in Linda Cohens, who was a fine woman and an outstanding firefighter. I send my personal condolences to her family and join the city’s entire public safety family in mourning her untimely passing.”
The New Haven Firefighters’ Union has established a fund in Cohens' memory to support her 5-year-old granddaughter, Brandy. Cohens is also survived by six brothers and sisters.
The office of the medical examiner says the manner and cause of her death is pending further study.