This week, Hartford, Connecticut, firefighter Kevin Bell, 48, died after suffering critical injuries while battling a fire at a multi-family home. According to the Hartford Courant, Bell was searching the home when "fire conditions forced him to bail out of a second-floor window." Another firefighter suffered burns on 10 percent of his body, noted the paper.
The tragedy only seemed to underscore the importance of the Connecticut Fire Sprinkler Coalition, which officially launched a day later at the University of New Haven. (Coalitions now exist in 21 states.) More than 100 people attended the event, which brought together the state's fire service, elected officials, and fire safety advocates to express the importance of home fire sprinklers.
"The ultimate goal of the coalition is to move forward with legislation on a statewide level, or codes we can adopt on a statewide level, that require residential sprinklers in new, one- and two-family dwellings," said Keith Flood, fire marshal of the West Haven Fire Department and coalition chair.