BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - The Connecticut medical examiner's office says a Bridgeport firefighter died of smoke inhalation battling a fire over the weekend, while further study is needed on a second firefighter who died in the same incident.

The medical examiner's office said 49-year-old Michel Baik died of smoke inhalation. The office also said he had coronary artery disease that contributed to his death.

An autopsy was also done on 40-year-old Steven Velasquez but that will require more study into the cause of death.

The firefighters died Saturday after being found unconscious on the top floor of a three-story house that caught fire.

Fire officials say it's not clear what happened. The state fire marshal's office is examining the two men's breathing equipment.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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God be with their families. No matter what the investigation comes back to say, two wives and children are left without part of their family now. Hopefully they can find the cause and we can learn better ways of keeping ourselves safe while responding to an incident.
We all have different assingments at the fire scene. Rescue , ventalation and hoselines. The two firefighters might have been given a task to search above the fire, one of the most dangerous jobs on the fireground. Our scott bottles will only last about 20 minutes, it is possibe to use your air even quicker depending on how hard or how stressed you are. They could have been low on air during the search and were unabe to retreat the same way they had entered. The house also could contribute to the spread of the fire. If ballon construction fire will travel very quickly, and even the best manned and best equipped fire departments will be unable to stop it.
Why didn't they go in with a line? My fiance and I were watching the news on this and wondered why...

Not every situation would need a handline to conduct search. The time it takes to pull a handline, and up to the third floor, can hinder the time it takes to do a search. Searching with or without a handline is completely a judgement call based on conditions observed at the time.

I have searched many structures without the use of a line. To do an expedidated search, to me, the time lost doing so with a line isn't really worth it. There are numerous ways to search and using a handline is just another tool, there are just as many cons as there are pros.
I interested in finding out was the toxic twins considered. If he was in Cardiac arrest from smoke the cyanokit may of saved his life. Many firefighters deaths to smoke inhalation are from cyanide as well as carbon monoxide just ever forget there effective antidote, unfortuantely there is lack of awareness when the rubber meets the road by not only prehospital but also ER staff.

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