Fallen Firefighter’s Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Hartford, CT

WFSB 3 Connecticut

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(Article in Full)

WFSB 3 News – “The estate of a fallen Hartford firefighter has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.

Firefighter Kevin Bell, 48, was killed battling a blaze on Blue Hills Avenue on Oct. 7, 2014.

Kevin Bell’s family members held a news conference with attorney Paul Levin at 11 a.m. to discuss the suit, which was filed at superior court in Hartford.

“Kevin should be with us, at home,” said Wayatte Statham-Bell, Kevin Bell’s widow. “It’s not right, I need answers.”

To read Wayatte Staham-Bell’s full statement, click here. 

Shawn Bell, Sr., Kevin Bell’s brother, said it took 8 minutes and 3 seconds for a scene commander to send a rescue team. He said it took just 30 seconds to locate him.

“For eight minutes and three seconds, my brother, Kevin Bell, was left behind,” Shawn Bell said in a statement. “He was equipped with a poorly functioning air tank and abandoned by his partner, Lt. John Moree, whose muffled mayday went unanswered or ignored.”

Shawn Bell argues that his brother was essentially left to die.

“The loss, for us, is unbearable,” he said.

To read Shawn Bell’s full statement, click here.

Fire investigators said they found multiple mistakes that contributed to Kevin Bell’s death. 

The medical examiner ruled that he died of asphyxia from lack of breathing gas.

Officials said Kevin Bell’s death drew attention to problems within the fire department, especially with air tanks not being refilled after firefighters came back from calls.

In fact, days before the deadly fire, Lt. John Nolan wrote to the Hartford fire chief detailing problems in the fire house. Those problems allegedly included an apparatus check and house work not being completed.

Firefighters said they knocked down the fire on Blue Hills Avenue after only 30 minutes. Still, it was long enough to be deadly for Kevin Bell.

He also left behind a daughter.

To read the full report, click here.”

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