That tragedy was the death of Julio, Lozado, a 12-year-old boy who was trapped under a collapsed building in Hartford.
Neighbors tried to tell emergency crews what happened, but none of the firefighters spoke Spanish. After that heartbreaking loss, the fire department increased the number of Spanish-speaking firefighters, according to a news release from the city.
Casares was one of them.
Through the years, he rose to the ranks of Chief of Fire Prevention. As of April 10, he has been the city’s fire chief. He replaces Charles A. Teale Sr., who retired.
“Like Chief Teale, Chief Casares is a son of Hartford. He has overcome challenges to rise to the top of his profession,” Mayor Eddie Perez said in a news release. ”This appointment is a celebration of personal success and diversity for our City as together, we name Hartford’s first Latino Fire Chief.”
“I never became a firefighter to be a pioneer or a hero. I serve out of love and compassion for the people of this great City,” Casares said. “I am humbled by this opportunity to lead such a brave group of men and women.”