Above is dispatch audio from the tragic fire in Bridgeport. You will hear a disptatcher dealing with the report of a mayday at about 3:40 in the clip.
(Chief Brian) Rooney said there is always a danger when responding to a fire at any of the hundreds of wood-frame multi-family homes that make up city neighborhoods. Because of their balloon-style construction, fire gets between the walls a spread directly to the upper floor and roof. But, he said, in most cases the blazes are put down quickly and everyone goes home.
But not this time.
“We are still in shock and disbelief,” he added.
What is known is that Lt. Steven Velasquez, a 16-year veteran of the fire department, and Firefighter Michel Baik, a rookie of two years, were sent to the third floor of the building at 41 Elmwood Ave. to rip down the ceiling to root out any hidden hot spots and to search for anyone still trapped in the building.
“They were doing something that is quite routine,” Rooney continued, looking very grim. “Something obviously went wrong.”
Another firefighter who got to the scene saw that Velasquez and Baik were in trouble and called a “mayday,” which Rooney said brought an immediate response from the rapid intervention team waiting outside the building.
“The two men were brought out and they worked on them trying to revive them but were unsuccessful,” he said.