Family of Killed Firefighter Sues Hartford (CT)

The family of firefighter Kevin Bell, who died while fighting a house fire last year, will sue the city, claiming among other things that the lieutenant who entered the burning house with him may have left Bell behind to die because of “personal animus” between the two men, reports the Hartford Courant.

At a press conference Thursday in the office of their attorney Paul Levin, Bell’s widow and his brother said they hope the lawsuit will provide answers as to why Bell was left behind last October and why no one searched for him for nearly eight minutes even though a “mayday call had been made.”

“My brother, Kevin Bell, was essentially left to die,” his brother Shawn Bell said. “By the time he was pulled out of the building, it was too late. This is why we’re here today. We want justice. We want every single person who should be held accountable to be held accountable.”

Bell, a six-year veteran assigned to Engine 16, died Oct. 7, 2014, while fighting a fire at 598 Blue Hills Ave. The fire department set up the board of inquiry to review the matter and the department’s response to the fire that found numerous problems with breathing apparatus and radio communications.

In the lawsuit, which has not yet been served on the city but copies of which were provided by Levin on Thursday, names the city, Fire Chief Carlos Huertas, Deputy Chief James McLoughlin, who was in charge of the fire scene and Lt. John Moree, Bell’s partner who entered the building with him.

Read more of the story here


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