As most people have heard by now, there was terrible fire yesterday in Bostons Back Bay. The fire spread quickly to nine alarms, and 150 firefighters were called in to battle the blaze, made even more difficult by yesterdays 45 mile per hour winds. Two heroic firefighters died saving the lives of others, and keeping the fire from spreading to the surrounding buildings. Both men worked out of the Engine 33, Ladder 15 firehouse located at the corner of Boylston and Hereford Streets, located right in the heart of the Back Bay. As with all Bostonians, our thoughts and prayers go out to the Walsh and Kennedy families, as well as to the thirteen other firefighters injured battling the blaze.
The Governor, Mayor and Cardinal Sean OMalley have all posted condolence messages today:
Gov. Deval Patrick: 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.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh: "Tonight the City of Boston mourns the loss of two of our own. Lt. Ed Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy lost their lives battling the nine-alarm fire on Beacon Street today. Words cannot do justice to the grief that we feel tonight. Our hearts are heavy with the knowledge that these brave men gave their lives to protect the safety of our city and its people.
"The men and women of the Boston Fire Department are the brave heroes who run towards the danger when others run away. A day like today makes us all too aware of what they are risking in the course of doing their jobs. They are heroes simply by virtue of accepting this duty. They put themselves in harms way so that others might be safe. Thank you to the Boston Fire Department, Boston Police Department, EMS and all other first responders and volunteers for your heroic work today.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with their families tonight as they face this terrible loss. We also hold close their fellow firefighters, who have lost friends as dear as brothers."
Cardinal Sean OMalley: These brave men gave their lives in the line of duty, putting the public safety ahead of their own interests. As a community we come together in this time of loss, offering our support and our prayers to the Walsh and Kennedy families and their fellow firefighters.
With so many advances in building codes and fire prevention technology, it is sometimes easy to forget these catastrophic fires can, and do still happen. We are truly fortunate to have the brave men and woman of all the emergency services who are willing to sacrifice their own well-being, for the well-being of all of us.