A tribute is growing in honor of a 26-year-old Burlington firefighter who died after suffering a medical emergency while fighting a fire in New Hartford last week.
Colin McFadden, a member of the Burlington Volunteer Fire Department, was one of the many firefighters who responded to help put out a massive fire at the historic New Hartford House in New Hartford last week when he suffered a medical emergency and was rushed to John Dempsey Hospital for emergency surgery.
That is where doctors discovered that he had a rare form of leukemia that had not been diagnosed, according to fire officials. Two days late, McFadden passed away.
In honor of a fellow firefighter, members of many departments have come together to honor McFadden and fire departments from across the state have been placing their patches on the chain-link fence erected at the site of the New Hartford fire.
Lt. Ty O’Neill, a firefighter with the Riverton Volunteer Fire Company and a member of New Hartford Volunteer Ambulance, said the tribute started when New Harford put up an American flag and a photo of McFadden.
O’Neil decided to put up a patch from New Hartford Volunteer Ambulance, posted about it on Facebook and invited other departments to put their patches up as well.
Within a day, there were more than 20 patches. Now there are more than 100, he said.
“It’s been just such an amazing showing of brotherhood that everybody from all over the state is coming out with it and putting their patches up,” O’Neil said.
The patches, he said, are a display of how firefighting is a brotherhood and how firefighters stick together.
O’Neill said fire departments that wish to take part can mail send patches to:
New Hartford Fire
P.O. Box 203
New Hartford, CT 06057
A mass will be held on Thursday at Saint Matthew Church in Bristol at 11 a.m. with a burial to follow at Saint Joseph Cemetery.
20 Deerfield Lane
Storrs, CT 06268
Focus Center for Autism
PO Box 452
326 Albany Turnpike
Canton, CT 06019
1678 Asylum Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06117
Connecticut Rivers Council
Boy Scouts of America
60 Darlin St
East Hartford, CT 06108
Shepard’s Meadows Equestrian Center
733 Hill Street
Bristol, CT 06010
Insurance City Repeater Club
94 Rowe Place
Bristol, CT 06010
Burlington Fire Department
PO Box 1285
Burlington CT, 06103