Report: Fallen firefighter had alcohol & drugs in system

Hartford Firefighter Kevin Bell

There is new information about a firefighter who was killed in the line of duty back in 2014.

A toxicology report, obtained by the Hartford Courant, shows that 48-year-old Hartford Firefighter Kevin Bell had alcohol and a primary substance found in marijuana in his system when he died fighting a house fire in October 2014.

The results of the toxicology report were reportedly never given to the seven-member board and one former board member says it was a cover up.

Bell's wife and family members have been outspoken in the past about his death, but on Thursday, when Eyewitness News knocked on doors or tried contacting them, information was limited.

His estate filed a wrongful death suit claiming poor training, equipment and a partner that abandoned him contributed to his death.

Soon after Bell's death, a seven-member panel was put together to look into the circumstances.

In all, the board, made up of seven fire department members, came up with 22 conclusions.

It highlights failures in training, command, use of technology and even the art of fighting fires.

The medical examiner's office simply said that Bell died of asphyxiation.

Former inquiry board member and Hartford Fire Deputy Chief Dan Nolan confirmed that the board never saw the toxicology report. He said, then fire chief Carlos Huertas, wouldn't let them see it and discouraged them from learning the truth.

Nolan said Huertas told the panel to pretend to investigate and then let the state handle it. Nolan said he was removed from the board after he started asking questions.

Eyewitness News reached out to the mayor’s office, the fire chief, the firefighter’s union, and Hartford police but has not heard back yet.

To read the full report obtained by the Hartford Courant, click here.

Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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