Hartford marks a year since it lost a beloved firefighter - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Hartford marks a year since it lost a beloved firefighter

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Firefighter Kevin Bell. (Mayor's office photo) Firefighter Kevin Bell. (Mayor's office photo)

Wednesday marked a year since a Hartford firefighter was killed in the line of duty.

A remembrance ceremony for Kevin Bell, 48, who died fighting a blaze on Blue Hills Avenue, was held on Wednesday.

Kevin Bell’s sacrifice was recognized at a national level over the weekend.

Sunday, hundreds of people gathered in honor of the capital city native.

Kevin Bell was a six year veteran of the department, fire officials said.

"We're dealing,” said Brea Bell, Kevin Bell’s cousin. “We're all here surviving so that's all we can do."

Kevin Bell was the first city firefighter to die in the line of duty in 40 years.

His mother Cheryl Bell said she appreciated Wednesday's memorial, and that Kevin is remembered for his heroic actions. But what she misses most is just spending time with her son.  

"I can't talk to him you know. I used to talk to him everyday and I can't talk to my son. I really miss him," she said.

Fellow firefighter and longtime friend Lt. Lionel Thompson said bell was always an exceptional leader.

“Growing up it was hard to get out of drugs or gang activity,” he said. “Kevin would be the person to bring everybody together."

Also on Sunday, Bell’s name was memorialized at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Maryland. President Barack Obama singled him out during his speech.

“Because of the role model Kevin was, African American kids in Hartford want to be firefighters just like him and one day they'll be able to go to work in the Kevin Lamont Bell fire station,” he said.

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