STAMFORD, Conn. — On Dec. 25, more than 40 Stamford firefighters risked their lives as they tried to save five people trapped in a Shippan home heavily engulfed in flames. They were honored for their bravery Tuesday night.
“Those firefighters went from hell and back,” Chief Antonio Conte said during the Stamford Fire Rescue Department Recognition Ceremony at UConn Stamford.
The chief choked back tears as he retold the story of the Christmas Day fire at Madonna Badger’s home that took the lives of her three children and both of her parents. His men made many rescue attempts, but the density of the smoke and fire caused their work to be unsuccessful.
“In all, 16 firefighters tried in vain to reach the Badger girls, and Mr. and Mrs. Johnson,” Conte said.
Each of the 44 firefighters who responded received a unit citation. They also recognized members of the American Red Cross, the clergy and others who helped the department with its healing process.
Firefighters Joseph Maida and William J. O’Connell were given the Medal of Honor for their role in saving two people from a boat accident July 22. The rescue took place in darkness, and they had to make several efforts to get the two people.
“Because of their effort there are two more people walking the earth this day,” Conte said.
Frank Docimo Jr. was named Firefighter of the Year for many attributes including his technological and electronic knowledge. “He is a bright and shining star and we’re lucky to have him,” Conte said.