I want to try to be respectful to deceased Hartford Firefighter Kevin Bell, but something stinks. I am sure I am asking the question that many others are asking this morning. Why did it take almost six months for the Medical Examiner to determine the cause of Bell's death?
Why were we originally told that the cause of death could not be determined pending toxicology results? Now apparently those toxicology tests have no bearing on the cause of death and asphyxiation has been determined the cause. Wasn't the lack of air obvious during the original autopsy? Aren't there other signs indicative of asphyxiation visible during an autopsy? Damage to the lungs? Wouldn't there have been the presence of smoke in Bell's lungs if he was in fact breathing in smoky air from a fire? Wouldn't there have been damage to blood vessels in Bell's eyes , I am told that is a good indicator of lack of air caused by asphyxiation.
And since when does the ME wait on someone else's testing to issue their cause of death? Does a police report need to be completed before they call a death a homicide? Of course not, they make their own determination based on their own findings, not what some one else/s report says
The OCME owes it to every Hartford Firefighter to issue a complete and unadulterated report and cause of death to ensure that this type of death never happens again.
Until then something stinks with this report and the time it took for its completion.