October 7, 2019 - The Hamden Fire Department was dispatched at 03:01 p.m. for a third party call reporting a fire at 240 Russo Drive. While apparatus was en route, Central Communications advised all responding companies that they had received an additional 911 call from a neighbor reporting flames from a window, and that an elderly resident may still be inside the house.
On his way home from an extra-duty assignment, Hamden police Sergeant Jason Venditto was near the scene when he heard the dispatch, and was able to get to the residence before the fire department arrived. Sgt. Venditto entered the smoke filled house and successfully located and removed a 95-year old female occupant, who was still inside. Fire Chief Gary Merwede said that he had no doubt that Officer Venditto saved her life.
Arriving within three minutes after being dispatched, Engine 9 reported heavy smoke emitting from a two story single-family residence. Engine 9's company officer then reported that all occupants were confirmed out of the building. The crew of Engine 9 immediately initiated an aggressive interior attack, quickly extinguishing the fire in a second floor bedroom.
Battalion Chief John Spencer declared the fire under control at 3:18 p.m. Extensive overhaul was performed to ensure that no fire spread to any other areas of the structure.
One civilian with non-life threatening injuries was transported to a local hospital for evaluation. There were no firefighter injuries.
The Hamden Fire Department would like to remind residents of the importance of have working smoke detectors, and recommends that they be checked at least once a month. Fortunately, there were working smoke detectors present in this home, which alerted the resident.
The members of the Hamden Fire Retirees Association congratulate Sgt. Jason Venditto for his courageous life-saving effort, and the members of the Hamden Fire Department on a good stop.
Posted 10/7/2019 and revised 10/8/2019
The above information was provided by the Fire Chief's Office and the HFD Twitter account.
This photo of Firefighters Warren Blake and John McKee was taken by Firefighter Stan Brown around 1965. Stan was an amateur photographer. Many of his photos, like this one, have been preserved by Chan Brainard.
To observe the start of Fire Prevention Week, all Hamden fire apparatus was on display in this 1954 newspaper photo taken behind the A&P Store opposite the high school of Dixwell Avenue. The apparatus, clockwise from the lower left: 1938 Diamond-T (Emergency Squad), 1954 Maxim (just delivered - scheduled to be Engine 4), 1951 Maxim (Engine 3), 1952 Maxim (Engine 2), 1935 Dodge Bros. (Engine 7), 1951 Pontiac (Chief's car), 1930 Maxim (Engine 6), 1938 Seagrave (Engine 1), 1939 Diamond-T (Engine 4), 1942 Diamond-T (Engine 5), 1941 Diamond-T (Hook & Ladder), 1952 Dodge (Maintenance truck). The six gentlemen pictured in the lower right (L-R): Supt. Clem Wetmore, the 3-member Fire Commission, Marshal Albert Purce, and Chief Raymond C. Spencer. (Photo by Michael Kurtz)
This New Haven Evening Register article courtesy of the Sid Trower family
Governor Lamont Directs Flags to Half-Staff Sunday for National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he is directing U.S. and state flags in Connecticut to be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Sunday, October 6, 2019 in recognition of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service, an annual observance that occurs during Fire Prevention Week and honors the sacrifices of fallen firefighters who have died in the line of duty.