Trapped in Basement When Wind Sends Flames
Back Onto Hose Crew
TWO BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, FIREFIGHTERS PERISHED in a rowhouse fire Wednesday afternoon. The two victims, FF Michael Kennedy, 33, and Lieut. Edward Walsh, 43, had just entered the basement of the 4-story home to attack the fire when the outside wind rushed through a broken window and blew the flames back onto the men, trapping them.
They called an immediate may-day and assistance arrived quickly while the fire was still burning above them, but there was no time left to save them. WCVB-TV reported:
(Incident Commander, Deputy Chief Joseph) Finn said Walsh was found near the stairs in the basement of the building. Kennedy was alive when he was pulled from the structure, but later died at Massachusetts General Hospital.
The fire broke out in the basement at about 2:45 p.m. and quickly grew to a nine-alarm blaze — the highest alarm that can be struck in Boston. Within minutes of crews responding, a firefighter trapped in the basement made a mayday call.
Finn said high winds fanned the flames and had a “dramatic impact” on how quickly the fire spread.
“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 said.
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