‘Never forget:’ Boston honors 2 firefighters killed in 2014 Back Bay fire
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‘Never forget:’ Boston honors 2 firefighters killed in 2014 Back Bay fire

ERIKA. GOOD EVENING. THIS IS THE FIREHOUSE WHERE THOSE TWO FIREFIGHTERS WORKED, AND SINCE THEY DIED TEN YEARS AGO, THERE HAVE BEEN CHANGES TO PREVENT SIMILAR TRAGEDIES FROM HAPPENING IN THE FUTURE. BUT THE MOTHER OF ONE OF THE VICTIMS SAYS ONE BIG CHANGE IS STILL WAITING. A LONE BAGPIPER MARCHED PAST BOSTON FIREFIGHTERS STANDING AT ATTENTION HONORED TWO FIREFIGHTERS WHO ANSWERED THEIR LAST CALL FROM THIS STATION EXACTLY TEN YEARS AGO. THEIR LIVES WERE CUT SHORT DOING WHAT THEY DO BEST, HELPING OTHERS. IN 2014, MICHAEL KENNEDY AND ED WALSH DIED IN THE BASEMENT OF A FIRE IN THIS BROWNSTONE ON BEACON STREET. THEY BECAME TRAPPED BY FLAMES WHEN THEIR HOSES BURNED AND RAN DRY. TEN YEARS LATER, THESE FIRE RESISTANT HOSES ARE NOW CARRIED ON ALL BOSTON FIRE ENGINES. THEY’VE DONE EXTENSIVE TESTS AT THE ACADEMY WHERE THEY LIT A DUMPSTER, PUT IT OVER IT, AND THE FLAMES DIDN’T BURN THROUGH IT AT ALL. THEY ARE MORE EXPENSIVE, BUT THEY’RE FAR BETTER HOSES. CATHY CROSBY BELL STARTED A FOUNDATION TO HONOR HER SON, MICHAEL KENNEDY. THAT FOUNDATION HAS PAID FOR SOME OF THE BOSTON FIRE DEPARTMENT’S NEW HOSES, AND PUSHED FOR OTHER DEPARTMENTS TO MAKE THE SWITCH. AND I THINK ONCE NEW YORK AND SAN FRANCISCO ORDERED THEM, MAYBE MIAMI, THEY’LL JUST TAKE OFF ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THE 2014 FIRE WAS ACCIDENTALLY STARTED BY SPARKS FROM NEARBY WELDERS, AND CROSBY BELL HAS BEEN PUSHING FOR A STATE LAW TO INCREASE WELDING REGULATIONS AND TRAINING, BUT SAYS SO FAR THAT BILL HAS GONE NOWHERE. LEGISLATE AYER HAS STILL NOT PASSED THE WALSH KENNEDY BILL. THAT IS A SLAP IN THE FACE TO EVERY FIREFIGHTER FOR. THAT FIRE WAS SO HARD TO FIGHT BECAUSE IT WAS FUELED BY WINDS WHIPPING OFF THE CHARLES RIVER. THE FIRE DEPARTMENT SAYS IT’S MADE ANOTHER CHANGE SINCE 2014. FIREFIGHTERS NOW SPECIFICALLY TRAINED FOR WIND DRIVE

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Boston Fire ceremony honors 2 firefighters killed in 2014 Back Bay fire

The city of Boston paused Tuesday to honor the lives of two firefighters who died 10 years ago in a fire in the city’s Back Bay. “Their lives were cut short doing what they do best: helping others,” Boston Fire Commissioner Paul Burke said. Lt. Edward Walsh and firefighter Michael Kennedy were killed while fighting a wind-fueled, nine-alarm fire at the 298 Beacon St. brownstone on March 26, 2014.”We pause to remember all the good that Mike and Eddie did for others during their lives, the sacrifices that these two men made 10 years ago. It’s hard to come to grips with — even today,” Burke said. “We will never repay the sacrifice that these two families have given to the city of Boston. But we will never forget,” Mayor Michelle Wu said. The fire was started by sparks from a welding job at a neighboring building. The two men went inside after they were told someone might be trapped in the basement, then became trapped themselves.Kennedy, 33, of Ladder 15, was a veteran of the Marine Corps and lived in Hyde Park. He had been with the department for 6 ½ years. Walsh, 43, of Engine 33, had been with the department for 9 ½ years. He lived in West Roxbury with his wife and three young children.”Ten years ago, these two families gave the ultimate sacrifice, and 10 years ago, Boston lost two of its tallest pillars, men who left our city stronger than they found it. So, today, we remember their bravery. We hold their memory in our hearts, and we are forever grateful for the lives that they lived in service of those they loved,” Wu said.Kennedy’s mother, Kathy Crosby-Bell, founded the Last Call Foundation in honor of her late son to donate for the purchase of new heat-resistant, longer-lasting equipment.On Tuesday, she urged the state Legislature to pass the Walsh-Kennedy bill, which would increase certification and permitting requirements for welding at worksites and increase penalties for failing to do so.“They don’t have to die to be a hero, and they shouldn’t have to die. They shouldn’t have to die because somebody started a fire with a torch,” she said. Walsh’s widow, Kristen, said her husband was “honored and privileged to have worked” at the historic Boston firehouse on Boylston Street.“He wanted to be at a busy firehouse where he could make the most difference for the city that he loved and for the fire department that he was so proud to be a part of,” she said.Eighteen other people, including 13 firefighters, were taken to local hospitals after the fire.Video: Fallen firefighter’s mother pushing for safer gear

The city of Boston paused Tuesday to honor the lives of two firefighters who died 10 years ago in a fire in the city’s Back Bay.

“Their lives were cut short doing what they do best: helping others,” Boston Fire Commissioner Paul Burke said.

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Lt. Edward Walsh and firefighter Michael Kennedy were killed while fighting a wind-fueled, nine-alarm fire at the 298 Beacon St. brownstone on March 26, 2014.

“We pause to remember all the good that Mike and Eddie did for others during their lives, the sacrifices that these two men made 10 years ago. It’s hard to come to grips with — even today,” Burke said.

“We will never repay the sacrifice that these two families have given to the city of Boston. But we will never forget,” Mayor Michelle Wu said.

The fire was started by sparks from a welding job at a neighboring building. The two men went inside after they were told someone might be trapped in the basement, then became trapped themselves.

Kennedy, 33, of Ladder 15, was a veteran of the Marine Corps and lived in Hyde Park. He had been with the department for 6 ½ years. Walsh, 43, of Engine 33, had been with the department for 9 ½ years. He lived in West Roxbury with his wife and three young children.

“Ten years ago, these two families gave the ultimate sacrifice, and 10 years ago, Boston lost two of its tallest pillars, men who left our city stronger than they found it. So, today, we remember their bravery. We hold their memory in our hearts, and we are forever grateful for the lives that they lived in service of those they loved,” Wu said.

Kennedy’s mother, Kathy Crosby-Bell, founded the Last Call Foundation in honor of her late son to donate for the purchase of new heat-resistant, longer-lasting equipment.

On Tuesday, she urged the state Legislature to pass the Walsh-Kennedy bill, which would increase certification and permitting requirements for welding at worksites and increase penalties for failing to do so.

“They don’t have to die to be a hero, and they shouldn’t have to die. They shouldn’t have to die because somebody started a fire with a torch,” she said.

Walsh’s widow, Kristen, said her husband was “honored and privileged to have worked” at the historic Boston firehouse on Boylston Street.

“He wanted to be at a busy firehouse where he could make the most difference for the city that he loved and for the fire department that he was so proud to be a part of,” she said.

Eighteen other people, including 13 firefighters, were taken to local hospitals after the fire.

Video: Fallen firefighter’s mother pushing for safer gear

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