Fund Set Up for Fallen Boston Firefighters
A special fund has been started to help support the family members of two firefighters killed battling a nine-alarm Beacon Street blaze on Wednesday.
The Boston Firefighters Credit Union is accepting donations, either through mail or online, for Lt. Edward Walsh and firefighter Mike Kennedy, who both died while trying to stop a wind-whipped fire from spreading throughout a brownstone in the Back Bay. Kennedy and Walsh became trapped in the basement of the apartment building as the flames tore through the complex, requiring the assistance of roughly 150 firefighters to help put the fire down.
Donations collected for the fundraiser, called “Lieutenant Walsh – Firefighter Kennedy Memorial Fund,” will benefit the families of Kennedy and Walsh. Walsh leaves behind three children, all under the age of 10, and a wife.
“In difficult times like these, I am so proud to be mayor of a city that comes together to help our neighbors in need,” said Mayor Marty Walsh. “Since [Wednesday’s] tragic events, we’ve experienced an outpouring of support from across the city, state, and country. So many people have expressed a willingness to help, in some way, as we grieve the loss of Lieutenant Walsh and Firefighter Kennedy.”
Mayor Walsh said although no donations can heal the wounds suffered by the family members of both firefighters, the funds collected will create a focal point for peoples’ generosity.
Funeral arrangements and vigils are also being planned to honor Lt. Walsh and Kennedy as well. According to officials from the fire department, two separate funeral services will be held back-to-back sometime next week. Funeral details will be announced sometime Friday through the Boston Fire Department’s Twitter account. A flag raising ceremony was also scheduled for Friday, at 1:15 p.m., at City Hall. Family and friends of the firefighters were expected to attend.
An investigation into what caused the fatal fire is still underway. Because of the damage done to the Beacon Street dwelling, it was difficult for fire officials to immediately gain access to the building this week. While they don’t believe the fire was related to any criminal activity, the fire department is working with the Boston Police and officials from the Suffolk District Attorney’s office as part of their investigation. In an interview with reporters on Thursday, Boston Fire Department Spokesman Steve MacDonald said some sort of “extraordinary event” that took place in the basement was to blame for the intense incident and the deaths of his fellow first responders. The high winds on the day of the fire also contributed heavily to the fire spreading as quickly as it did from the basement to the building’s roof.