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Obituaries

Funeral Arrangements Set For Firefighter Killed Battling CT House Fire

Ricardo Torres, Jr. Photo Credit: legacy.com
A New Haven firefighter was killed and three others injured, one critically, battling a house fire. Photo Credit: City of New Haven Twitter

Funeral arrangements have been set for a Connecticut firefighter who died battling a blaze that broke out in a New Haven home last week.

A Catholic service for New Haven firefighter Ricardo Torres, Jr. will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 20 in St. Mary Church on Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven. A burial with full departmental honors will follow in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford.

Officials noted that masks will be mandatory while in the church.

Torres was survived by his wife, Erica Martinez, son Oliver Torres, and Crew Torres, who is due to be born in August. Torres was born in New Haven on Nov. 11 to Cathy Foster-Mendez and the late Ricardo Torres.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to National Fallen Firefighters Foundation here.

First responders were dispatched to a two-family home on Valley Street at approximately 12:45 a.m. on Wednesday, May 12, where a two-alarm fire broke out, officials announced.

Firefighters were able to rescue two occupants inside the home, with one woman taken to the hospital for treatment due to smoke inhalation, while the other was treated at the scene.

While battling the blaze, two firefighters got trapped inside the home and needed to be hospitalized after being rescued. Torres was pronounced dead from his injuries while a second was transported to Bridgeport Hospital in critical condition.

In total, four firefighters suffered injuries.


“Today, we grieve as a City for our fallen hero and pray for another’s recovery,” New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker stated. “We extend our gratitude, prayers, and sympathies to their family and to all who keep us safe.”

To honor Torres, Lamont said that flags should be lowered immediately and remain lowered until sunset on the date of interment.

“Accordingly, since no flag should fly higher than the U.S. flag, all other flags, including state, municipal, corporate, or otherwise, should also be lowered during this same duration of time,” he added.

“Today’s tragedy is a heartbreaking reminder of the dangers that firefighters face each and every day when responding to emergencies,” Lamont said at the time. “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.”

The Office of the Governor will send out a notification when flags should be returned to full-staff.

“We grieve for the tragic loss of Firefighter Torres,” Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz said. “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,” she added. "My heart goes out to his family, friends, and the New Haven Fire Department.”

A GoFundMe fundraising campaign for Torres’ family has also been set up, raising more than $250,000 in five days. Anyone interested in pledging any money to the fundraiser can do so here.

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