Thousands Come to Bridgeport to Honor Fallen Firefighters - NBC New York

Thousands Come to Bridgeport to Honor Fallen Firefighters



    Meeting Veterans’ Special Needs in Hospice
    Bridgeport Fire Dept.
    Lt. Steven Velasquez and Firefighter Michel Baik were killed while fighting a fire in Bridgeport Saturday, July 24.


    Thousands have come to Bridgeport to honor and remember two Connecticut firefighters killed in the line of duty.

    Lt. Steven Velasquez and Firefighter Michel Baik died Saturday while battling a house fire. A line of firefighters from communities in Connecticut and neighboring states lined up outside the Klein Memorial in Bridgeport to pay their respects to Bridgeport Fire Lt. Steven Velasquez early Thursday.

    "Everybody’s sad in there. Everybody’s just looking, keeping quiet, staying to themselves really, nobody’s really saying too much," said John Anglo, when describing calling hours for Velasquez.

    Hundreds of people and fellow firefighters came to say their goodbyes and show support for the Velasquez family and the firefighter’s new wife.

    "They just got married July 10th. I was the DJ at their wedding, and I’ve seen them happy, having a good time, enjoying themselves, and you know we don’t know why these things happen, but they do happen," said Thomas Perez.

    The community says Lt. Velasquez will be greatly missed, but he will remain in their memories as a dedicated firefighter and an all around good man.

    "He saved people’s lives. That’s what he went in there to do and his life was taken. He wasn’t scared about himself, he was scared about who was in that building, so that’s why he was a great man. Not everybody would do that," said Anglo.

    The wake for Lt. Velasquez was held from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday. Calling hours for Baik were from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Abriola Parkview Funeral Home in Trumbull.

    Both men will be buried Friday. A spokesperson for the city says they expect as many as 10,000 people to attend the funerals and procession through the streets of Bridgeport. Firefighters from across the country and Canada are expected to attend.