SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WGGB) — Through the cold January air and the sounds of a bagpiper, the casket carrying Springfield Firefighter Ken Murray was slowly ushered into St. Catherine of Siena Church Friday. Murray was killed early Sunday morning when his car crashed into a pole on Cottage Street.
“It was shocking news, surely, when we heard it all,” Captain Stanislaus Skarzynski said.
Skarzynski trained Murray in 2011. He and dozens of other firefighters attended Murray’s funeral. They marched to Hillcrest Cemetary on Parker Street. The procession was led by the last fire truck Murray served on-engine three.
“It’s an extremely sad day to lose a firefighter and a firefighter so young with so much promise,” Commissioner Joseph Conant said.
Murray had been on medical leave since was injured in the November gas explosion. Conant visited him in the hospital that night.
“He received signficant burns to his face and to his head, he had a wrist injury, and post concussion syndromes,” Conant said. “He was recovering. He was looking forward to coming back.”
Murray was assigned to the White Street Station in Forest Park, but Skarzynski says he had friends across the city because he was one of the good guys.
“It doesn’t take you very long to establish a reputation in the fire dept once you get out of recruit school and Ken had gotten a very good reputation,” Skarzynski said.
Police investigators believe speed was a factor in the crash, but haven’t named a final cause.