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Medical examiner: Hartford firefighter died because breathing apparatus ran out of air

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HARTFORD, Connecticut — The Connecticut medical examiner's office says a Hartford firefighter who lost his life battling a house fire in October died because his tank ran out of air.

The medical examiner ruled Thursday that the death of 48-year-old Kevin Bell was an accident.

Bell was a six-year veteran of the department and the first Hartford firefighter to die in the line of duty in 40 years.

The Hartford Courant reports that an inspection of his engine company's equipment before the deadly fire found safety issues including empty air tanks. The breathing apparatus that Bell was wearing has been sent to its manufacturer for testing.

Three other firefighters were injured in the Oct. 7 fire in Hartford's north end.

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