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 The previous information related to "private" services is no longer applicable.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.

Fireground Audio below


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.

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my prayers go out to the families
Rest in thoughts and prayers to the families and FD
MY prayers and thoughts are with the family and department of our fallen comrades
Tragic...sincere condolences to the families . Rest in peace.
mis condolencias a las familias y a sus compañeros carlos de argentina
My heart and preyers are out to those two men. I live only a couple cities away. My preyers to them, their families and friend, their department, and all my brothers and sisters still on that rough battle to keep others safe. You are all the bravest of the brave. Keep it up and keep the names alive for our fallen brothers and sisters.
Bridgeport’s Tears

It began as a normal job
Fire showing, second floor
We set out to begin our tasks
Like a thousand times before

Nothing special about this house
Just two and a half story wood
In through the back door
Adjusting pacs, gloves and hood

Though the heat was oppressive
This should be over quick
Engine men place their hoseline
And Ladder men their stick

We all have responsibilities
Which all work hand in hand
Water, ventilation, forcing doors
They have all been pre-planned

On that day search and rescue
Was Ladder 11’s assignment
So up to the third floor
Their company was sent

It looked like a quick stop
As the fire darkened down
But it had traveled upward
As smoke showed, dark brown

Suddenly we heard “Mayday”
Then “Mayday” once again
We all knew that trouble
Had found one of our friends

The Rapid Intervention Team
Was swiftly deployed
To recover our brothers
Before the building was destroyed

Though we got to them quickly
And pulled them to the street
We worked feverishly to save them
On the blazing hot concrete

Saving lives is our profession
The inevitable to postpone
But we just couldn’t pull it off
For two of our own

Nothing left for us to do
But to honor these brave men
The Lieutenant and the rookie
Will serve together again

Firefighters from all over
In a show of respect
Will send off these heroes
Sworn to serve and protect

Thousands of brothers will gather
And they’ll remember for years
The day they came together
To share Bridgeport’s tears

Lt. Tom Kenney
Providence Fire Department

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