A deputy fire chief died after being struck by a train in Branford on Wednesday night.
Branford Deputy Fire Chief Ron Mullen died after police said he was hit by a train in the area of Point Pleasant Road around 8 p.m. It is unclear why Mullen was so close to the tracks.
"Chief Mullen was just a wonderful man," said Branford Fire Captain Geoffrey Morgan. "Ron comes form a very long lineage of fire service. His father was a fire chief and his son is a fireman also."
The Branford Fire Department said Mullen, who is also the deputy fire marshal, joined as a cadet member in 1976 before he became a member of the career staff in 1981.
“Over his nearly four decade career, he was one of the most respected Incident Commanders, fire investigators, and educators in the state,” the department posted on its Facebook page.
On Thursday, the Branford Professional Firefighters Local 2533 posted a photo of Mullen's helmet and gear on its Facebook page, saying "Deputy Chief Mullen was a 34-year member of our local and a respected leader and friend. He will be dearly missed. This union, department and community will not be the same without him. Rest easy, brother."
"I as well as a number of colleagues have worked with Ronnie, grew up with Ronnie, Branford born and raised, as well as many of us. Our friendships go back quite a long time, again its a tragic loss. Our sympathy goes out to his entire family as well as his brothers and sisters in the firefighting service," Morgan said.
No information has been released on the cause of the fatal crash. Police said the incident remains under investigation.
Funeral details are still being finalized, but fire officials said they will be released soon.
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