SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) –Springfield’s Fire Commissioner Joseph Conant said that Firefighter Kenneth Murray reminded him of his younger self. He also said Murray was a strong young man who truly loved being a firefighter. “After a few months on the job he was assigned to White Street, and I went there in the morning and I was the Deputy of Operations. He was all covered with dirt and he had this big smile. He just loved, he was enthusiastic, and he just loved being a firefighter.”
Firefighter Kenneth Murray was killed when his car crashed into a pole on Cottage Street early Sunday morning. Even though he was only on the force for a little over two years, he’s left a lasting impact with the department. “I spoke to many of his classmates, there were 21 of them. They were a very, very close group, and they’re taking it pretty hard. Like I said a few days ago, when you join the fire department you don’t have coworkers, you have an extended family and these guys were like an extended family,” he said.
Murray suffered extensive injuries while responding to the downtown Springfield gas leak and explosion last November. He had burns on his hands and face, suffered a broken wrist, and a concussion.
Conant saw Murray’s condition improve, signaling he was almost ready to return to the job he loved so much. “He was looking forward to coming back to work, looking forward to recovering and coming back to work, unfortunately that didn’t happen. It was a sad day for the fire department and my heart goes out to his parents and his family it’s just a tragedy.”
Conant says Murray family is still planning stages for his funeral.
The fire department has already reached out them, offering their help and anything else they need during this time. Springfield police say speed was a factor, but the accident is still under investigation.