Skip to comments.Two firefighters killed, 13 others injured battling 9-alarm fire (Boston)
Posted on 03/27/2014 8:56:37 AM PDT by matt04
A 9-alarm blaze ripped through a brownstone building in Bostons Back Bay like a blowtorch Wednesday, killing two firefighters and injuring more than a dozen others battling what officials described as one of the fastest-moving fires seen in decades.
"We lost two heroes today," Mayor Marty Walsh said. "It's a sad day for the city of Boston.
Fire officials confirmed at a press conference Wednesday night that Lt. Ed Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy died in the fire at 298 Beacon St. Thirteen other firefighters were injured.
"Two great firefighters," said Rich Paris, president of the Boston firefighters' union.
Walsh, 43, of West Roxbury, was married and had three children, all under age 10; Kennedy, 33, of Hyde Park was single and spent more than six years as a firefighter.
Boston EMS said at least 18 people in all were taken to area hospitals. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center confirmed that seven patients were transported there. Six were in good condition and one in fair condition.
The fire extended up from the basement of the four-story brick brownstone building. Walsh died in the basement, while Kennedy was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he died.
Winds were gusting at 45 miles per hour with wind tunnels in the area.
Boston Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Finn said in 30 years, he's never seen a fire move as quickly as this one. He said there is no reason to believe there was any criminal intent involved and the fire is not believed to be suspicious at this time.
(Excerpt) Read more at necn.com ...
I don’t regard many as heroes but firefighters? Yes!
so young... very sad...
So sad.......too many heroes are lost this way. Please, does anyone know on what street this brownstone is? I have a friend in the Back Bay and want to make sure it wasn’t her building. Thank you so much.
Story gives address as 298 Beacon St.
RIP brave heroes....
RIP my Brothers
Thank you......my friend lives on Dartmouth. Prayers for the heroes and their loved ones.
What’s left, from BFD Twitter http://twitpic.com/dzhcde
some more pics on the BFD Twitter page
address was 298 Beacon. 2-3 door down from Exeter St.
I’ve picked up all residents there at home (I think only two from quick reading) were out near immediately or soon after first firefighters arrived.
Tom Brady was seen on the roof of his building (as in his whole townhouse, on same side of block overlooking Charles River). I think he’s midblock.
I lived other side of street at 326 two doors from Fairfield 1979-81.
You must have picked up by now fire was so frighteningly dangerous as high winds came off river and blew through back windows into front.
The unfortunate two who perished were in front in basement.
Just saw new footage on noon whdh channel 7 news with huge fireballs / bursts (one from each of two windows in a bay front) coming out of first floor front windows I’m sure many will say HAD to be from accellerants BUT WERE NOT! “Backdraft explosions” has been used by some reporters.
I’ve been lifelong in the architectural field in and around Boston and I’ve never seen the likes of those flame burst come from a plain residential fire, which is what is was.
The coincidence of the extreme high winds quite really funneled through a longish, thinnish space as a townhouse produced this monster.
But too there’s tremendous overkill (poor word) in Boston fire codes due to the Coconut Grove (especially- 492 killed 1942) and Vendome fires ( 8 firefighters killed 1972-large brick wall in alley fell on hook and ladder, which sat in front of HQ for years after) and they’ll be the usual absurdity in the halls where codes are amended.
One can’t build a triple decker there anymore (prohibite for expense) for having requirement of BOTH a full sprinkler system AND full (as in commercial or multi population / floor-residential) fire alarming when one system or other should be sufficient for three stories wood frame...among other things. Renovation (cost of reno as to assessed property worth) thresholds for upgrades have to be the lowest in the hemisphere and is fraught with opportunities for variance such bribes can be suspected to be needed (or, you know, political payments)...and too devious underpricing by GC’s/devolopers to keep the reno costs down for bldg permit stage (trick of the trade) with “extras” added later. As is variances are needed to build anything but an outhouse, so one is already at the counter at 1010 Mass Ave for those.
One of my favorite stories is that the English Ska group “The Specials” final show of their (initial) history was in Sept 1981 and was delayed almost TWQ hours by the BFD because the hanging clothe backdrop had to be certified for fire resistance. The thing had been used throughout the US on many stages prior with no such concern by authorities. I never got the details (was there and new date I’d been working on for months left as she got sick drinking the cocktails to wait for the show, so I’ve got another reason to remember) but somebody might have even had to take a cloth sample to a lab inside those two hours to have show approved. They are THAT STRICT.
It was simply a very freak fire. Fires “happen”. I’m just lobbying for people to keep their wits about them.
RIP to those two firefighters. Very sad.
RIP and thank-you for your service to the community and heroic sacriface.
Thank you. I lived in Boston a lifetime ago. So love the city. My friends on Dartmouth just moved back into the city as empty nesters. Beacon Hill/Back Bay are so gorgeous, but the structures are not the safest. I lived in a brownstone on Joy Street a long time ago. First floor front. I used to jog down Beacon Street; then cross over Storrow to the river, going past the Hatch Shell, to come back up the hill. Thanks for the Memory Lane interlude. My prayers are always with those who still live in that wonderful city.
My father was fireman.
He drove a big red truck
and when he'd go to work each day
he'd say, "Mother wish me luck."
Then Dad would not come home again
'til sometime the next day.
But the thing that bothered me the most
was the thing's some folks would say,
"A fireman's life is easy,
he eats and sleeps and plays,
and sometimes he wont fight a fire
for days and days."
When I first heard these words
I was young to understand
but I knew when people had trouble
Dad was there to lend a hand.
Then my father went to work one day
and kissed us all goodbye
but little did we realizes
that night we all would cry.
My father lost his life that night
when the floor gave way below
and I'd wondered why he'd risk his life
for someone he did not know.
But now I truly realize
the greatest gift a man can give
is to lay his life upon the line
so that someone else might live.
So as we go from day to day
and we pray to God above
say a prayer for your local fireman.
He may save the one's you love.
Yep, I had a front row seat to watch this from one of the tall buildings across the Charles. The wind was probably gusting at 45 mph right in line with the length of the building. Once some of the windows got broken there was a _lot_ of oxygen to fuel the fire. It must have been like a blast furnace in there.
When I first head about the fire it was 3 or 4 alarms, then I got distracted and heard it went to 7 alarms. By the time I found a scanner feed it had gone to 9. Even then they were calling for additional engines to get enough water pressure.
Based on the reports that the mayday was called just a few minutes after the to FFs entered the basement, I would imagine that was when the back windows blew out.