I’m wondering what retired firefighters Andy Fardy (town committee) and Ron Mackey think of this. From the CT Post:
The Bridgeport Fire Department has been charged with five serious state safety violations in the July 24 blaze that killed two firefighters.
The Connecticut Department of Labor’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, found that the department did not perform tests on the firefighters’ breathing gas tanks; failed to conduct medical evaluations and ensure firefighters were fit; did not make sure firefighters wore breathing equipment inside the burning building; and failed to follow “mayday” procedures.
Fire Chief Brian Rooney said the department is contesting all five violations. He said fire officials will be meeting with CONN-OSHA Monday in Wethersfield. He said the department is refraining from commenting while the state fire marshal is still investigating the events surrounding the fire and deaths. That investigation should be completed in April, he said.
The fire, which occurred on Elmwood Avenue, resulted in the deaths of Lt. Steven Velasquez and firefighter Michel Baik. The state medical examiner’s office stated Baik died from smoke inhalation complicated by a heart condition and that Valesquez died from smoke inhalation and asphyxia.
It was later discovered that the third-floor living area was an illegal apartment and had likely not been inspected by fire officials in many years.
The state inspection of the fire began last July 28 and ended Jan. 20, according to the CONN-OSHA citation. If the charges are affirmed, each of the five violations would carry a $1,000 penalty.
In the citation sent to the fire department dated Jan. 24, all five violations were classified as “serious.”
Both Velasquez, 41, and Baik were Bridgeport residents. Baik would have celebrated his 50th birthday last August and was the department’s oldest rookie. Millions of dollars have since been raised statewide for the families of the men.
At Monday night’s City Council meeting, the Fire Department awarded several plaques to the mayor, his spokesperson, the City Council, city employees, Police Chief Joseph Gaudett and Rooney for “showing support, sympathy, and condolences” to the families of the two firefighters.
“They are still weeping,” Rooney said Monday. “They are still depressed. They still don’t know why.”
Firefighters from around the country descended on Bridgeport to pay tribute to the two men in separate wakes that shut down parts of the city for several hours.