Shelton firefighters praised for putting safety of others first

The smoke-filled scene on Howe Avenue.
The smoke-filled scene on Howe Avenue.

The work of Shelton’s volunteer firefighters was publicly praised by the city’s aldermen in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 downtown fire.

Shelton Fire Chief Francis Jones received a standing ovation on behalf of the department from Board of Aldermen members and the public in the audience at the board’s Jan. 10 meeting.

The Shelton Fire Department includes four volunteer companies — Echo Hose, Huntington. Pine Rock Park and White Hills — as well as the Fire Prevention Bureau. There also is a paid Fire Marshal's Office, which led the investigation into the cause and place of origin of the Howe Avenue blaze.

Responded in the middle of the night

Aldermanic President John F. Anglace Jr. said firefighters “left their families” in the middle of the night to respond to an emergency, and found residents at their windows needing to be saved.

They used ladders to rescue people from third-floor apartments, performing “these actions with complete disregard for their safety” in order to save the lives of others, Anglace said. Soon after the rescue effort, the building collapsed.

‘Professionalism, courage and bravery’

Anglace, speaking for all the aldermen, said the firefighters had demonstrated “professionalism, courage and bravery” with their actions.

He noted fire personnel were aided by police, EMS personnel and others at the scene, all of them coming together to work as a team.

Jones, in response, told aldermen, “Thank you for your support.”