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 The previous information related to "private" services is no longer applicable.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.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Brother when you weep for me
Remember that it was meant to be
Lay me down and when you leave
Remember I'll be at your sleeve
In every dark and choking hall
I'll be there as you slowly crawl
On every roof in driving snow
I'll hold your coat and you will know
In cellars hot with searing heat
At windows where a gate you meet
In closets where young children hide
You know I'll be there at your side
The house from which I now respond
Is overstaffed with heroes gone
Men who answered one last bell
Did the job and did it well
As firemen we understand
That death's a card dealt in our hand
A card we hope we never play
But one we hold there anyway
That card is something we ignore
As we crawl across a weakened floor
For we know that we're the only prayer
For anyone that might be there
So remember as you wipe your tears
The joy I knew throughout the years
As I did the job I loved to do
I pray that thought will see you through