Boston is mourning the loss of two of its finest this evening due to the deaths of two firefighters being killed on Wednesday. Over 20 other individuals, firefighters included, were rushed to various local hospitals after a nine alarm fire burst into flames in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. Fire Commander Chief Joseph Finn stated that the two deceased firefighters were Lt. Ed Walsh and fireman Mike Kennedy, each one of Engine 33.
Finn explained that Walsh, age 43, was discovered down in the basement of the burning building. Kennedy, age 33, was pulled out of the building while still alive, but later passed away at the hospital. He told of the tragic news at a press conference on Wednesday evening and stated that the loss of the two men was a tremendous tragedy for the fire department.
Each man had been with the department for less than 10 years. Walsh was married and had three children that were under the age of 10, one daughter and two sons. He lived in the city of West Roxbury, stated officials. Kennedy had been a veteran of the Marine Corps, was single and resided in Hyde Park.
The fire was believed to have begun in the basement of the four story brownstone structure and went upward, stated officials. As the blaze consumed the structure throughout the day, the roof eventually collapsed. Commander Finn declared that in over 30 years of firefighting, he had never seen a fire spread so fast or increase so quickly, something that caused men to become trapped so fast. The two firefighters are heroes. They went into a blazing building and got people out. The city of Boston lost two amazing men.
There were a number of people stuck on the top floors that were in need of rescue. Walsh and Kennedy were able to help some of them before they themselves became trapped. Strong winds fueled the flames causing the building to become quickly engulfed. At one point, an explosion erupted and several firefighters were propelled down the stairs. Commander Finn stated that the fire itself was like a giant blowtorch from the front to the rear of the building.
Out of the firefighters that were injured, some had broken bones while others endured numerous burns. A Boston hospital said that it had moved nearly 20 patients to different hospitals in the area. The blaze itself happened just west of downtown Boston, close to the Charles River. Dark smoke rose over the Boston skyline.
There were over 150 firefighters and around 30 trucks that responded on scene, according to a Boston Fire Department spokesperson. An eyewitness reported that he noticed people trying to climb down the building’s fire escape. He added that he saw the fire go from tiny to large but that he did not think the blaze had spread to any attached buildings.
Boston is mourning the loss of two of its finest this evening due to two firefighters being killed. Over 20 other individuals, other firefighters included, were taken to various local hospitals after a nine alarm fire burst into flames in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood on Wednesday. Fire Commander Chief Joseph Finn stated that the two deceased firefighters were Lt. Ed Walsh and fireman Mike Kennedy, each one of Engine 33.
By Kimberly Ruble