WTC responder dies after mayday call at scene of Conn. house fire

Matthias Wirtz, a 22-year veteran of the North Haven Fire Department, received CPR before being transported to a hospital

Duty Death: Matthias Wirtz - [North Haven, Connecticut]

End of Service: 12/26/2022

By Alison Kuznitz

NORTH HAVEN, Conn. — Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont ordered flags to be flown at half-staff Monday following the early morning death of a veteran firefighter.

Matthias Wirtz, a 22-year veteran of the North Haven Fire Department, was pronounced dead at Yale New Haven Hospital, after he was found unconscious and unresponsive outside a two-alarm house fire, according to the New Haven Register.

Responders took life-saving measures, including practicing CPR and using a defibrillator, before Wirtz, 46, arrived at the hospital.

Wirtz had called for a “mayday” to battle the fire at a four-family home in North Haven, according to the New Haven Register. Thirteen people are now displaced and receiving support from the Red Cross, WTNH reported.

“The passing of North Haven Firefighter Matthias Wirtz is heartbreaking, and we honor his bravery and courage in responding early this morning to a multi-alarm residential fire, where over a dozen people have become displaced,” Lamont said in a statement. “This is particularly upsetting as it comes at a time of year when families and friends are gathering to celebrate the holiday season. His passing is a painful reminder that first responders work every single day of the year, 24 hours a day, and often miss holidays with their families in order to protect the people of our state. My heart is with his family, friends, and colleagues in the North Haven Fire Department.”

Flags should be flown at half-staff until Wirtz’s burial, which has yet to be announced.

Wirtz joined the North Haven North East Volunteer Fire Company #4 in 1996. During the Sept. 11 attacks, Wirtz responded to the World Trade Center, according to the New Haven Register.

“It’s a sad day here,” North Haven First Selectman Michael Freda said, according to the New Haven Register. “It’s a really sad day for all of us.”

©2022 Advance Local Media LLC.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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