Bridgeport Fire Dept. facing safety-violation charges

BRIDGEPORT - A report released by the state Labor Department has charged the Bridgeport Fire Department with safety violations following the death of two firefighters.

The 10-page report lists five serious safety charges that date back to a fire on Elmwood Avenue that claimed the lives of Lt. Steven Velasquez and Mitch Baik on July 24.

Labor Department officials say the fire department did not perform tests on the firefighters' breathing tanks.

It also says the department did not make sure firefighters wore breathing equipment inside the burning building and failed to follow "Mayday" procedures.

Officials say that the department has 15 days to fight the charges.

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