NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Hundreds said a final farewell to a 27-year-old New Haven firefighter who died earlier this month.
Thomas Mieles was off duty when he was fatally struck on Interstate 91 North in New Haven on Nov. 3.
Family, friends and members of the New Haven Fire Department gathered Tuesday at the St. Francis Church on Ferry Street. Calling hours were held Monday.
“It was his pride to be able to protect his community and work amongst the people he grew up with,” said Chief John Alston, New Haven Fire Department.
Several of his fellow firefighters who responded to the crash earlier this month said they had no idea at the time that they were rushing to save one of their brothers.
State police said Mieles’ car was disabled on the left side of I-91 North at the time of the crash. Two other cars had stopped ahead of him to help and another car struck Mieles while he was standing outside his vehicle.
“They’re responding not only to anybody in the community who calls, but also family and friends who are in some of the most critical moments of their lives, but it’s also a testament to how supportive they are of each other,” said Mayor Justin Elicker of the firefighters who responded to the scene on I-91.
Mieles joined the New Haven Fire Department in January 2022 and was assigned to Engine 10 at the Lombard Fire Station in Fair Haven, where he grew up.
“You have to realize that Class 63 was part of that list that we didn’t hire for almost two years,” Alston said. “They barely made it under the wire, so these were the folks that were determined.”
Mieles was determined to better serve his hometown.
“What I do remember most about him is that he had a lot of questions and I could appreciate that because he wanted to do the right thing and he was very proud to be one of our members,” Alston said.