LODD: Conn. firefighter dies battling house fire

Firefighter Kevin Bell, 48, was a six-year veteran of the Hartford Fire Department


HARTFORD, Conn. — Officials have identified the 48-year-old firefighter killed in the line of duty while battling a two-alarm fire Tuesday evening. Three other firefighters were injured at the fire.

WFSB reported that firefighter Kevin Bell, a six-year veteran of the Hartford Fire Department, was unable to make it out of the living room.

"We lost one of our own so others would be saved. He is a hero who lost his life through heroic efforts to save others," said Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.

"Firefighter Kevin Bell represents and embodies the best in all of us," said Hartford Fire Chief Carlos Huertas. "The pain and anguish in the loss of one of our firefighters is beyond measurable."

Firefighter Bell, cousin of retired Hartford Fire Chief Charlie Teale, was called an excellent firefighter by his relatives.

"His death is a loss to the community," said his brother, Shawn Bell. "He was elated at the fact that he was becoming a fireman. He wanted to be chief."

He was a loving husband and the father of a daughter, Raquel, according to the report.

He was also known as Kutmaster B-stro and posted videos of himself as a disc jockey on YouTube.

Firefighter Jason Martinez suffered burns on 10 percent of his body and was taken to a burn unit. He has been with the fire department since 2007. Two other firefighters were also injured and have been identified as Kevin Burke, 51, and Colin McWeeny.

"This tragedy has severely impacted our fire department," Mayor Segarra added.

The loss is the department's first line of duty death in 40 years.

Gov. Dannel Malloy directed Connecticut flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of the fallen firefighter, according to the report.

“Last night's tragic events are another reminder of the incredible sacrifice that our state's first responders make on a daily basis,” Gov. Malloy and Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the hero we lost and those who were injured in the line of duty in our capital city.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation and funeral arrangements are pending.

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