NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Fire Departments and local leaders from all over Connecticut and beyond are extending words of sympathy for the loss of a New Haven firefighter killed in the line of duty early Wednesday morning.
Three other firefighters were injured while putting out a house fire in the Elm City; one of them is listed in critical condition.
Governor Ned Lamont announced that he is directing U.S. and state flags in Connecticut lowered to half-staff.
“On behalf of the State of Connecticut, I send my deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of New Haven Firefighter Ricardo Torres, Jr.,” Governor Lamont said. “Today’s tragedy is a heartbreaking reminder of the dangers that firefighters face each and every day when responding to emergencies. Firefighter Torres is a hero, who dedicated his life to the safety of the people of New Haven. My thoughts are also with the firefighters who were injured while responding to this emergency, and I pray for their speedy recovery.”
“We grieve for the tragic loss of Firefighter Torres,” Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said. “He sacrificed his life for the lives of others. His bravery and courage in service to his community and our state will always be remembered. My heart goes out to his family, friends, and the New Haven Fire Department.”
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro also reacting to the loss. She said, in part, “I am heartbroken over the loss of Ricardo Torres. He made the ultimate sacrifice and will be remembered as a hero, a person who went above and beyond for the people of New Haven. My prayers are with his family, friends, and loved ones.”
The New Haven Board of Alders also released the following statement:
It is with a heavy heart that we offer our condolences on behalf of the Board of Alders to the family of Ricardo Torres Jr., the firefighter who lost his life in the line of duty to our City.
We also wish a speedy recovery to the firefighters injured Lt. Samod Rankins, Tyrone Reed, and Tyler Skolnik.
Our prayers, well wishes, and thoughts are with Chief John Alston and the New Haven Fire Department.
Firehouses across New Haven are also leaving their flags at half staff.
WEB EXTRA: New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker reacts to death of Elm City firefighter Wednesday
New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker weighed in on the tragedy, saying, “This will be something that impacts us for months and years to come. But, I’m proud to be a part of the city of New Haven and a fire department that has responded with such compassion with the loss of a very important member of our fire department and our community.”
New Haven Fire Chief John Alston said Wednesday he is grateful for the support: “I want to thank surrounding chiefs for covering our stations and the many phone calls, emails, and well wishes from all over the nation.”
The New Haven Police Department said, “The New Haven Police Department sends our deepest condolences to our brothers and sisters in public safety.”
The Connecticut State Police said, “Our thoughts and prayers today are with our fellow first responders in the New Haven Fire Department.”
The Stony Hill Volunteer Fire Company said, “Our thoughts are with the New Haven Fire Department today. One of their own made the ultimate sacrifice early this morning while battling a structure fire. Several other members are injured as well. Rest In Peace.”
The East Berlin Volunteer Fire Company said, “The East Berlin Fire Company is keeping the City of New Haven Fire Department in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
The Southington Fire Department also reaching out, saying, “The members of SFD would like to express our thoughts and prayers to the New Haven Fire Department and the family of one of their members who passed away after fighting a house fire last night.”
The West Springfield Fire Department in Massachusetts said in part, “Our prayers are going out to our brothers and sisters from the New Haven Fire Department. One of their own made the ultimate sacrifice while battling a structure fire early this morning.”
The Ellington Volunteer Fire Department said, “The Ellington Fire Department is heartbroken over the loss of our fellow firefighter from New Haven. Our thoughts and prayers are with our brothers and sisters from New Haven Fire, along with the firefighter’s family. We are praying for a speedy recovery for the injured.”
The Coventry Police Department said, “The men and women of the Coventry Police Department express our sincere condolences to the family and fellow firefighters of the New Haven fire department.”
The Middletown Police Department said, “The Middletown PD would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to the New Haven Fire Department. This morning they suffered a tragic loss while saving lives. We are also wishing a speedy recovery to those Firefighters who were injured.”
The New Hartford Volunteer Fire Department echoed the sentiment saying, “Our thoughts are with the New Haven Fire Department this morning as they mourn the loss of one of their own.”
Stay tuned for more statements from local leaders and local fire departments.