Hartford Firefighter Kevin Bell’s tank ran out of air: Medical Examiner

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FARMINGTON - Hartford Firefighter Kevin Bell died as a result of asphyxia according to the Chief Medical Examiners office.

Chief Medical Examiner’s office in Farmington said it was an accident – “asphyxia – due to lack of breathing gas.” It went on to say the manner of death was an accident and Bell's self contained breathing apparatus ran out of air during a residential fire.

Bell died fighting a fire in Hartford on October 7th. The report was completed Wednesday, said spokeswoman.

Hartford Fire Chief Calos Huertas issued a statement:

We are grateful to the OCME for their diligence and pleased that the Bell family is beginning to get the answers they deserve.

This is still an open and active investigation and there are still more questions that need to be answered.

We want to thank everyone for their patience and cooperation at this time as the State Fire Marshal’s Office, NIOSH and Conn OSHA complete their investigations.

Hartford Police Deputy Chief Brian Foley said, "We the police department, our major crimes Detectives had the death investigation. We will now back out and the rest will be handled by the state fire Marshal's office moving forward..and there's still a lengthy investigation ahead."

Fox CT spoke with attorney for the Bell family. He and family said they are not commenting at this time and the family is conducting their own investigation.

A task force has been charged with investigating the Hartford Fire Department in the wake of several firefighter arrests and the death of a firefighter in the line of duty.

Jason Martinez, was also injured in the fire,  and spent weeks in critical condition after sustaining burns to more than 10 percent of his body.

Bell turned to firefighting late in late in life. At the time of his death, his father, Manuel Gomes, said he was inspired by his cousin, former Hartford Fire Chief Charles Teale. He signed up for the firefighter academy six years ago and passed with flying colors.

Related stories:

Hartford Remembers Fallen And Injured Firefighters After Tuesday Blaze

Hartford Firefighter, Kevin Bell, Who Died In The Line Of Duty “Will Not Be Forgotten”

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