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Bridgeport Firefighter Michael Baik died of smoke inhalation. Joined the department at age 47.

Previous coverage of this story here and here

From the AP:

The Connecticut medical examiner’s office says a Bridgeport firefighter died of smoke inhalation battling a fire over the weekend, while further study is needed on a second firefighter who died in the same incident.

The medical examiner’s office said 49-year-old Michel Baik died of smoke inhalation. The office also said he had coronary artery disease that contributed to his death.

An autopsy was also done on 40-year-old Steven Velasquez but that will require more study into the cause of death.

More on Firefighter Baik, who joined the department at age 47, from

“He had one of those safe careers,” said Assistant Fire Chief Manuel Firpi. “He was a computer tech, but since he was young he wanted to be a firefighter. When he got his badge he was so excited, he was holding it up, showing it to his kids. He was just so proud of getting it.”

Baik, one of two who died in a house fire on Elmwood Avenue Saturday, was the department’s oldest rookie. To his comrades, he was “Bake,” “Rookie” and “Furball.”

“The man was covered in hair — he looked like he was wearing a wool blanket all the time,” said Firpi. “But no one had more enthusiasm or passion for the job than Mitch.”

Firefighter Autumn Waggoner said Baik was always excited to come to work. “You could set the clock by him; he was always here at 3 o’clock on the dot,” she said. “Mitch was a sweet teddy bear of a guy, all hairy and huggable but a firefighter through and through.”

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