The 26-year-old Burlington firefighter who suffered a medical emergency while fighting a fire in New Hartford Tuesday morning has died.
Colin McFadden passed away this morning, according to his mother.
McFadden suffered a medical emergency while fighting the blaze at the historic New Hartford House. He was rushed to John Dempsey Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery.
Fire officials confirmed Thursday that doctors discovered McFadden had an undiagnosed form of leukemia.
Burlington Volunteer Fire Chief Michael Boucher said McFadden will be remembered as a funny, quirky guy who was always willing to jump in. On the day of the New Hartford fire, Boucher said McFadden he came out ready to work, running to the truck to make sure he got a seat.
A procession of emergency vehicles escorted Firefighter McFadden to a funeral home in Bristol Thursday afternoon.
“For us this is massively important, the brotherhood, sisterhood of the fire department, it’s everything to us and to the family of the firefighter, it usually means quite a bit to them to see our support and see how tight-knit we are and how much we care for one another," said Bristol Fire Department Deputy Chief David Butkus.
"“We lost one of our own, you know one of our family so as anybody losing their family member that’s how we feel about it, it’s that strong," he added.
Gov. Ned Lamont ordered all U.S. and state flags in Connecticut to half staff in honor of McFadden. They should remain that way until his date of interment.
"It is with a heavy heart that we mourn the passing of Burlington Firefighter Colin McFadden, who responded early Tuesday morning to a tragic fire out of a courageous sense of duty and compassion to protect the lives of others,” Gov. Lamont said. “This is a terrible reminder of the dangers that firefighters put themselves in each time they respond to an emergency. My deepest sympathies go out to his family, friends, and fellow firefighters from the Burlington Volunteer Fire Department.”
McFadden's family and the fire department said they have been overwhelmed and grateful for the outpouring of support. They have asked for privacy at this time. Any well-wishes can be sent to the Burlington Fire Department:
c/o Burlington Fire
P.O. Box 1285
Burlington, CT 06013