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Firefighters From All Over Pay Tribute to Fallen Burlington Firefighter

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Hundreds of firefighters paid tribute Thursday to Colin McFadden, a 26-year-old member of the Burlington Volunteer Fire Department, who died after suffering a medical emergency while fighting a fire in New Hartford.

A funeral was held Thursday for McFadden, who passed away last Thursday morning.

A mass was held this morning at Saint Matthew Church in Bristol at 11 a.m. and the burial will be at Saint Joseph Cemetery.

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, and doctors discovered a rare form of cancer, acute promyelocytic leukemia, that had gone undiagnosed.

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 came out ready to work, running to the truck to make sure he got a seat.

“He was involved in all sorts of things. I mean if there was something going on, Colin was there,” said Bristol Community Emergency Response Team Captain Richard Lehmert.

McFadden was one of the youngest members of Bristol’s CERT.

Burlington Volunteer Firefighter Colin McFadden was laid to rest Thursday. He died of an undiagnosed form of leukemia after collapsing while responding to a fire in New Hartford.

Colleagues say he’ll be “severely missed.”

One of their youngest members, Lehmert said Mcfadden was so skilled with their emergency radio system.

“He was the one that knew everything about it,” said Lehmnert, “A lot more than me,” he added as he laughed.

Lehmert said he heard that the afternoon before he passed away McFadden was helping someone with their system. That’s the kind of guy he way.

The wake for McFadden was held in Bristol Wednesday night and hundreds of firefighters from dozens of departments came together to honor him.

Gov. Ned Lamont ordered all U.S. and state flags in Connecticut to half-staff in honor of McFadden.

"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,” Lamont said last week. “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.”

Firefighter Colin McFadden died of leukemia days after collapsing at a fire in New Hartford.

Burlington Town Hall hosted its monthly blood drive on Saturday, but this time with a more a heartfelt backdrop.

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:

Colin McFadden
c/o Burlington Fire
P.O. Box 1285
Burlington, CT 06013

In lieu of flowers, the Burlington Fire Department is asking that donations be made to different organizations that influenced McFadden and helped shape him into someone dedicated to serving the community.

NorthStar Foundation
20 Deerfield Lane
Storrs, CT 06268

Focus Center for Autism
PO Box 452
326 Albany Turnpike
Canton, CT 06019

Gengras Center
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

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