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Police & Fire

Fairfield County Firefighter Dies While Rock Climbing, Police Say

Stephen M. Buda
Stephen M. Buda Photo Credit: Bridgeport Fire Department

A firefighter in Fairfield County who died from injuries he sustained while rock climbing in New York's Hudson Valley had nearly reached the 200-foot mark of his climb when he fell and was killed.

Stephen M. Buda III, age 56, of New Haven, was killed around 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 7, while rock climbing at a popular spot of the Trapps Bridge section of the Mohonk Preserve, said the Ulster County Sheriff's Office.

A firefighter with the Bridgeport Police Department since 2013, sheriff's deputies said it appears Buda had reached about 150 to 175 feet of the roughly 200-foot-section when he fell. 

He was not wearing any climbing or safety equipment at the time of the fall, the department said.

The Bridgeport Fire Department said the popular pump engineer "will be missed very much."

He leaves behind a wife and two children.

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