Two Firefighters Killed in 9-Alarm Boston Fire
(WGGB) — Two Boston firefighters have died following a massive fire in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood.
Fire broke out at a four-story brownstone at 298 Beacon Street around 2:45 p.m. Wednesday.
Boston Deputy Fire Chief Joe Finn says that when crews arrived, there was smoke showing.
Finn explains that, while the investigation is ongoing, it appears that two firefighters went in with their hoses through the front door, then down into the basement, where the fire appears to have started.
Finn says that the pair were in the building only a couple minutes before they issued a mayday call. He believes that something happened, involving a window or door blowing out, which trapped the pair.
Those two members of the Boston Fire Department lost their lives in the fire.
Finn identified those firefighters as Lt. Edward Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy.
Lt. Walsh was assigned to Engine 33 on Boylston Street. He was 43 years old and was married with three children, all under the age of 10. Walsh had been with the department for nine and a half years.
Firefighter Kennedy was 33 years old, single, and was assigned to Ladder 15 on Boylston Street. He was a combat veteran of the United States Marine Corp. Kennedy had been on the force for six and a half years.
Boston Fire Commissioner John Hassan says, “It’s a sad day for us, for the City of Boston, and our hearts go out to the families. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and it’s a tragic day for everyone involved in this incident.”
Hassan adds that 13 other firefighters were also injured. Their injuries are described as broken bones and burns.
Governor Deval Patrick released a statement, saying: “My heart and my condolences go out to the families of the firefighters lost in the line of duty today, as well as to the entire Boston Fire Department. This terrible tragedy reinforces how we must be grateful every single day for the brave men and women who put themselves in danger day in and day out to keep us safe.”
Finn remarked during a press conference Wednesday night how it appears the windy weather may have contributed to the dangerous conditions.
“The fire escalated very quickly…my speculation is that this is the wind driven affect of what we all have been dealing with the last day or so, had a dramatic impact on the extent and how quickly this fire traveled. In 30 years, I have never seen a fire travel that fast, escalate that quickly, and create such havoc in such a short period of time,” Finn explains.
Fire officials say that several people were rescued from upper floors of the building.
The fire traveled through the entire building and through the roof, causing the roof to collapse. The building is considered a total loss.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
ABC40 will continue to follow this story and will have the latest information as it becomes available.