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A City Mourns As it Prepares to Say Goodbye to Hero Firefighters

Investigation continues as to what caused the fatal fire.

Firefighter Michael Kennedy, left, and Lt. Ed Walsh.
Firefighter Michael Kennedy, left, and Lt. Ed Walsh.
By Liz Taurasi

Days after two firefighters gave the ultimate sacrifice and more than a dozen first responders were injured battling a 9-alarm fire in Boston’s Back Bay this week, the city and the state are mourning the loss of two local heroes.

Boston Fire Lt. Ed Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy both died battling the blaze when they became trapped in the basement of the four-story brownstone. The fire, which started at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, quickly went to nine alarms in less than 45 minutes. Heavy winds fueled the massive fire and Walsh and Kennedy perished.

Lt. Walsh was from Engine Company 33; Firefighter Kennedy was with Ladder Company 15.

The investigation into the source of the fire is ongoing. Fire officials are looking into the possibility the building’s heating system was the cause of Wednesday’s inferno. Officials are also reviewing the structure’s electrical system and determining if any smokers lived in the building.

The city has come together honoring Walsh and Kennedy in the days following the fatal fire. Flags across the state are at half staff. Memorials continue to grow at the firehouse where they both worked and hundreds of residents throughout the city of Boston lined the streets Thursday night as both firemen made the journey to the funeral home in their hometown of West Roxbury. Groups of friends, family, colleagues and residents throughout the state continue to honor their memories with vigils and small ceremonies across the commonwealth.

Services for Walsh and Kennedy will be next week.

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Bob March 30, 2014 at 08:59 AM
I have thought about this tragedy and I have waited several days before posting my comments as I did not want emotion to control my thoughts. As a 24 year career Firefighter/EMT I have been to too many Firefighters funerals and after every one the media and the general public all throw out "hero" and "selfless" and other terms These 2 men were hero's that day and so was every Firefighter at that fire but it goes much deeper than that. The men and women who go to work every day as Firefighters are just regular people , we are your neighbors and friends, we coach local youth sports and we all have the same goal...to go to the job we love...do our job and return home to our families. So if you happen to see a Firefighter in your town , just say THANK YOU...that's is all , we are not looking for medals or headlines...we just want to provide for our families and get the chance to grow old after we retire and look back on 30 + years of answering the bell . So please say a prayer and keep these 2 brave men and their families in your thoughts and from now on every time you see a fire engine with its lights and siren on think about the sacrifice that every Firefighter is prepared to make....when you become a Firefighter you write a check for up to and including your life....and we all hope it never gets cashed .
Matthew March 30, 2014 at 09:27 AM
Bob, well said my fellow brother.
JF March 30, 2014 at 10:48 AM
There isn't a day that goes by that I am not thankful for our firefighters and police. Especially in Easton, where they saved my life, after I was in a horrible car wreck. Very sad every Time I hear one has fallen. This time it's 2! They save us every day and it seems too many folks just take it for granted. Events like this in Boston are very disturbing. God bless these men who ran in to save lives. They had to run in while everyone else had to run out. I hope these men's families are well cared for. If not, then let's make sure they are.
Julie the Jarhead March 30, 2014 at 12:24 PM
Thank you, Lt. Ed Walsh, FF Mike Kennedy. And "Semper fi, brother!" to Mr Kennedy. It's Marines such as yourself that make me proud -- and humble.
Matthew April 04, 2014 at 11:42 AM
So Bosotn Fire just reported that the fire was started by welders working next door at 296 Beacon St. Welders, working without a permit, and no aplication on file for a permit, so no fire detail there during the work being done, on a day with 50mph+ winds. Which I'm sure would not have been allowed on that day had a permit tried to be pulled because of those winds. So our brothers died that day because some company and building owner we're to frigin ignorant to follow laws. Absoulte BULLSHIT.

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