Injured Hartford Firefighter Returns to Duty After Fatal Fire

A firefighter who was badly injured in the same Blue Hills Avenue fire in which his colleague Kevin Bell was killed has returned to duty, reports

Jason Martinez, a member of the tactical unit, was back on full duty Tuesday for the first time since the deadly fire on Oct. 7, 2014.

“I would like to thank my Brother and Sister firefighters in the Hartford Fire Department and from departments across the country for the support they provided to me and my family during this difficult time,” Martinez said in a statement.

Martinez passed out and fell from a second-floor window in the front of the building during the fire. He was burned over 10 percent of his body and was taken to the burn unit at Bridgeport Hospital. He was released on Oct. 30, 2014.

A report by a board of inquiry appointed in the aftermath of Bell’s death said Martinez was struck by steam as water from a hose hit the fire, and that the steam most likely came from Bell’s hose. Martinez was knocked out by the steam.

When he came to, he could not find his face piece or his helmet, and told investigators that his eyes and head were burning so he tried to wet his gloves to cool his head before searching for a window, the report says.

He communicated with firefighters, who told him a ladder was coming, but he passed out and fell from the window, the report says.


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