IAFF Provides Full Support as New Haven Local Loses One of Its Own

May 15 • 2021

It is with deepest regret and sorrow that we report the line-of-duty death of New Haven, CT Local 825 member Ricardo Torres Jr.

Brother Torres, 30, died while battling a residential fire on May 12, 2021. The IAFF stands ready to support New Haven Local 825 as it mourns the loss of one of its own.

Funeral services will be held at St. Mary Church on Hillhouse Avenue on Thursday, May 20 at 10:00 a.m. Following the mass, Torres will be buried at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford with full departmental honors. You can also sign Torres’ guest book online.

“Brother Torres gave his life saving lives,” says General President Ed Kelly. “His dedication to service above self was evident as he made the ultimate sacrifice while rescuing others. Our hearts break for his young family and for his Local 825 brothers and sisters. Let our brother’s sacrifice inspire us to fight harder for each other and our families.”

“This is a tremendous loss for the Torres family, the sisters and brothers of Local 825 and our entire IAFF family,” says General Secretary-Treasurer Frank Líma. “We will always remember the sacrifice made by Brother Torres and pray for a speedy recovery for Brother Rankins and all of those injured on this tragic day.”

Three other fire fighters were also injured during the successful rescue of a woman trapped inside the building. Following the rescue, a Mayday call went out alerting the crew that fire fighters were in distress.

Just two years into his career as a fire fighter, Torres died responding to an emergency call of a fire inside a multi-family building with numerous occupants trapped inside. Torres leaves behind a wife and child, with another child on the way.

One of the injured, Lieutenant Samod Rankins, was taken to the hospital and placed in in a medically induced coma at Bridgeport Burn Center. He is now recovering. The names of the other two fire fighters had not been released.

Local 825 President Patrick Cannon says Torres grew up wanting to be a fire fighter and was very well liked among his brothers and sisters in the fire service. “His nickname was ‘Tornado’ and he lived that to the fullest,” says Cannon. “He took a passion to this job and the same living strength to his family.”

Local 825 and the IAFF responded swiftly to the news of a lost member in New Haven. Within hours of the incident, 3rd District Vice President Jay Colbert was on the ground in New Haven to support the grieving family and Local 825 members.

“I offered the full resources of the IAFF to our brothers and sister in New Haven in this time of tragedy,” says Colbert. “That assistance will include both peer support and help with funeral planning.

Cannon, adds, “Local 825, in conjunction with the IAFF and surrounding departments, is supporting our brothers and sisters as we mourn our fallen brother. Fire fighter Torres was a hero and gave his life protecting the citizens of New Haven.”