BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Two firefighters died while battling a house fire Saturday afternoon, Bridgeport officials said.
Memorial Service Schedule Unfortunately there will not be room for an apparatus procession. At the request of the BFD, do not bring apparatus.
The viewing's and funerals ARE OPEN to all Firefighters in addition to the Collation listed below. The previous information related to "private" services is no longer applicable.
We will provide all staging, housing and related logistical details later.
The viewing for Lieutenant Velasquez will be held on Thursday, July 29, 2010 from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Klein Auditorium, 910 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport, Connecticut 06605; (203) 337-6195.
The viewing for Firefighter Baik will be held on Thursday, July 29, 2010 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Abriola Parkview Funeral Home, 419 White Plains Road, Trumbull, Connecticut 06611; (203) 373-1013.
The funeral service for Lieutenant Velasquez will be held on Friday, July 30 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Augustine Cathedral, 359 Washington Avenue, Bridgeport, Connecticut 06604, (203) 368-6777.
The funeral service for Firefighter Baik will be held on Friday, July 30 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church, 5458 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, Connecticut 06604, (203) 372-9767.
A Collation honoring both of our Brothers will be held on Friday, July 30, 2010 at the conclusion of the services at the Arena at Harbor Yard, 600 Main Street, Bridgeport, Connecticut.
The two men were found unconscious on the top floor of the three-story house after they sent out mayday calls, Deputy Fire Chief Robert Petrucelli said.
Efforts to revive them using CPR were unsuccessful, and they were pronounced dead at hospitals, Mayor Bill Finch said at a news conference.
They were identified as Lt. Steven Velazquez and Michael Baik, 49, said Elaine Ficarra, a spokeswoman for Finch. Velazquez' age wasn't available immediately.
The fire was reported sometime between 3:30 and 4 p.m. Velazquez and Baik were searching for people in need of rescue and ventilating the house, Petrucelli said.
Baik had been a firefighter for two years, and Velazquez, a neighbor of the mayor, was promoted to lieutenant in February, Finch said. Both men had young children, he said.
"Bridgeport is mourning the loss of two of its bravest," Finch said in a statement. "I urge you all to pray for the firefighters and their families during this most trying time."
No residents were injured, but three or four other firefighters were treated at hospitals for their injuries and released, Fire Capt. Ed McCann said.
The state fire marshal's office will investigate the cause of the fire and examine the equipment used by Velazquez and Baik, Finch said.
He requested all flags on city buildings to fly at half-staff.
The last time a firefighter died in Bridgeport in the line of duty was March 18, 1999, according to the mayor's office.
State to investigate fatal Bridgeport fire
State police and the state fire marshal's office are investigating the cause of a house fire in which two Bridgeport firefighters died.
Elaine Ficarra, spokeswoman for Mayor Bill Finch, said Sunday the two state agencies and city officials are investigating the fire Saturday that killed 40-year-old Lt. Steven Velasquez and 49-year-old Michel (Mitchell) Baik.
The chief medical examiner's office says autopsies will likely be performed Monday.
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Father accept these men into your arms as we know they came to be with you. These men certainly did not die in vain as they came what they were called to do. We do not weep for their sacrifice for they died with honor. We weep for the families both blood and extended, friends and co workers that are now mourning the loss of our brothers. Thank you for caring for them and now let us care for the families who need us as a family in the fire service to help in any way. Rest brothers....rest.......we have the watch now......in Jesus mighty name....Amen.
We are very saddened by the report of these two brothers losing their lives. They were reportedly attempting to save others who might have been in trouble. Our hearts go out to the community and their co-workers, friends and families. May they rest in peace.