NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A firefighter died battling a house fire in New Haven early Wednesday, officials said.
Firefighers received calls of a fire at a home on Valley Street about 12:45 a.m., Fire Chief John Alston said. When they arrived, the firefighters saw “heavy fire and flames,” the chief said.
The firefighters rescued three people from inside the burning house, Allston said. One was taken to a hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation.
One firefighter reported being lost and disoriented while battling the blaze, and a search team was sent to find him, Allston said. Two firefighters were found unconscious on the second floor of the building, and one later died of his injuries. His name was not immediately released.
“This is a very difficult time in our department,” Allston said. “Many of our members are hurting. We ask that the public keep them in their prayers.”
Mayor Justin Elicker, who joined Allston at a news briefing, said he was proud of how the firefighters supported one another and the family of their fallen colleague.
“This is such a challenging time for our community, and to lose someone that is truly a hero, that went into harm’s way to ensure the safety of others, this will be something that impacts us for months and years to come,” Elicker said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.