Report: Hartford firefighter killed in blaze, had alcohol, drugs in system

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HARTFORD —  The Hartford Courant reports that a state toxicology report showed that Kevin Bell, a Hartford firefighter who was killed in a blaze, had alcohol and marijuana in his system when he died.

The Courant reports that Hartford Fire Marshal Roger Martin, chairman of the a seven-member panel, said they never received the toxicology results. State safety investigators found the city had failed to properly maintain and test the air tanks Bell was using.

During the investigation, the Courant said there was no mention of whether the toxicology reports had any effect on what took place during the fire. The medical examiner’s office concluded that Bell died of asphyxia because his tank ran out of air.

On October 7, 2014, Bell died when he ran out of air while battling a house fire on Blue Hills Avenue, just a few blocks away from his home station Engine Company 16. Bell, who was 48, got entangled in a piece of furniture and his air tank ran empty. He died due to lack of breathing gas. His death prompted an investigation surrounding equipment failure.

The family settled a lawsuit against the city for $350,000 in December. Engine Company 16 was renamed in honor of Bell in April.