Fallen Firefighters Laid to Rest | NBC Connecticut

Fallen Firefighters Laid to Rest



    Thousands of firefighters were in Connecticut on Friday for the funerals of two firefighters who died in the line of duty last weekend.
    On Friday morning, the streets of Bridgeport were lined with firefighters in uniform as a community from the across the state, and beyond, gathered to pay their respects.

    A funeral was held on Friday morning for Bridgeport Fire Lt. Steven Velasquez at St. Augustine’s in Bridgeport.   His casket was carried to the church by a fire truck.

    Lt. Valezquez Funeral

    [HAR] Lt. Valezquez Funeral
    The funeral of Bridgeport firefighter Lt Valezquez. (Published Friday, July 30, 2010)

    As Velasquez’s casket was lowered from the truck, the firefighters family and all 350 members of the city’s fire department followed behind.

    Velasquez and Firefighter Michel Baik died on Saturday while battling a house fire in Bridgeport.

    Bridgeport Firefighters Mourned

    [HAR] Bridgeport Firefighters Mourned
    Friends and fellow firefighters from across the Northeast come to honor two fallen comrades. (Published Thursday, July 29, 2010)

    After services for Lt. Velasquez ended, firefighters then headed to St. Nicholas Church for the funeral of rookie firefighter Baik.
    Firefighters from around the country came to honor their fallen brothers.  "Today is about the celebration of the life of two firefighters that gave their lives for the citizens of Bridgeport," Boston firefighter Ralph Dowling said.  "It's just a day to show the family that their family doesn't end at the door.  It stretches across the country."

    Lt. Velasquez served the Fire Department for 20 years, and he was just married two weeks ago.  Baik was Bridgeport's oldest rookie, fulfilling a life-long dream to be a firefighter at age 49. 

    Joe Fitzpatrick, who lives in Waterbury but served as a New York City firefighter, wanted to honor the men even though he didn't know them.  "We're all brothers.  It becomes one big department countrywide when an occasion like this happens," Fitzpatrick said.

    Lt. Velasquez and Firefighter Baik were buried in private services Friday afternoon.