NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Fire departments not only in Connecticut but all over the country have been devastated by the death of New Haven Firefighter Ricardo Torres Jr., who was laid to rest Thursday after falling in the line of duty last week.
He was battling a house fire on Valley Street early in the morning on May 12 when he and another firefighter, Lt. Samod Rankins, were found in the building unconscious and had to be pulled out. They were in there rescuing two people.
Funeral services were held May 20, starting at 10 a.m. at St. Mary Church on Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven. Burial with full departmental honors followed in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford.
New Haven Police lead the procession from the fire station to the church. Firefighters from all over the state and region were here in New Haven to join the procession and pay tribute to Torres Jr.
Firefighters as far as Houston, Texas were in the Elm City, along with the National President of the Firefighter’s Union, according to Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz.
“I hope the Torres family knows that there are hundreds of thousands of people here who love and respect this man for what he did,” Governor Ned Lamont said during the New Haven procession.
The New York City Fire Department pipes and drums performed during the procession.
“We’ve gotten calls across the country, Boston reached out to Chief Alston, and FDNY,” said Rick Fontana, the City of New Haven’s Director of Emergency Operations. “Having the support of the departments that are around us and having the support of one another is key to surviving this.”
Departments from around the region have been sharing funeral information on social media: