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Governor: Flags To Be Lowered For New Haven Firefighter



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Governor Ned Lamont has ordered US and state flags across Connecticut lowered to honor a New Haven firefighter who died the line of duty early this morning.

Firefighter Ricardo Torres, Jr, died Wednesday, May 12, while on the scene of a residential fire in that city.

Flags should be lowered immediately and remain lowered until sunset on the date of his interment, which has not yet been determined. Accordingly, since no flag should fly higher than the US flag, all other flags — state, municipal, corporate, or otherwise — should also be lowered for the same duration.

The Associated Press reports Torres and another firefighter were injured battling a house fire early Wednesday as they and their colleagues rescued two residents, including an 84-year-old woman.

Firefighters were called to the blaze on Valley Street at about 12:45 am, Fire Chief John Alston said. When they arrived, they saw “heavy fire and flames,” according to the chief.

The first responders rescued a woman who owned the home and a man who lived on the second floor, fire department investigator Douglas Wardlaw said. The woman was taken to a hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation and was expected to survive, and the man was treated at the scene, officials said.

The injured firefighter, whose name was not released by the AP, suffered respiratory injuries and was taken to a hospital.

Alston said he wants Torres “to be remembered doing what he loved to do, and that he sacrificed his life to save someone else.

“This is a very difficult time in our department,” he said during a press conference. “Many of our members are hurting. We ask that the public keep them in their prayers.”

On behalf of the State, Gov Lamont offered his “deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of New Haven Firefighter Ricardo Torres, Jr.

“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.”

Lt Governor Susan Bysiewicz called Torres’s death “a tragic loss.”

“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,” Bysiewicz said Wednesday afternoon.

Associate Editor Shannon Hicks can be reached at shannon@thebee.com.

The flag outside Newtown Police Department was lowered in March following shooting incidents in Georgia and Colorado. Governor Ned Lamont has ordered all flags in Connecticut to be lowered until further notice following the May 12 line of duty death of New Haven Firefighter Ricardo Torres, Jr. —Bee Photo, Hicks
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