Concerns Raised Days Before Connecticut Firefighter Death

Two months after a Hartford (CT) firefighter was killed while battling a fire, newly released documents reveal that several concerns had been raised about the Hartford Fire Department engine company just days before the fire, reports NBC Connecticut (http://bit.ly/1rYAnB1)

Firefighter Kevin Bell, 48, was killed while responding to a fire in the city’s North End on the night of Tuesday, Oct. 7 and sources have told The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters that investigators determined Bell was low on air before collapsing on the night of that fire.

Among the documents city officials released on Friday was a letter Lt. John Nolan, a member of Engine 16, sent to Fire Chief Carlos Huertas two days before the fatal fire that mentioned issues with the preparedness at the firehouse.

Two of the bottles, which supply firefighters’ air packs, that were supposed to be full, were found empty on one of the fire trucks, Nolan wrote in the letter.

“Currently there are ongoing active investigations into the tragic death of Hartford Firefighter Kevin Bell,” Hartford Fire Chief Carlos Huertas said in a statement. “These investigations will be a thorough examination of the totality of circumstances surrounding this incident. When the investigation is complete, it will provide clarity and understanding into the very sad events of October 7th, 2014. Until the investigation is complete it would be improper for me to comment.”

Sources within the Hartford Fire Department tell the Troubleshooters that there had been issues like this and others within Engine 16 for some time.

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