Two firefighters–Ed Walsh and Michael Kennedy–were killed while battling a massive nine-alarm fire in Boston on Wednesday.
The fire started in the basement of a four-story brick building before quickly spreading and going through the roof.
At least 18 other people, including 13 firefighters, were taken to local hospitals.
The blaze was at 298 Beacon Street in the Back Bay neighborhood.
Both Walsh and Kennedy were of Engine 33.
Walsh was found in the basement of the building, where firefighters were stuck at one point without water while flames raged around them.
Kennedy was pulled from the structure alive but later died at Massachusetts General Hospital.
(Boston Fire Department)
Firefighters tend a colleague at the scene of a multi-alarm fire at a four-story brownstone in the Back Bay neighborhood near the Charles River Wednesday, March 26, 2014 in Boston. (AP Photo/Boston Fire Department)
Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Finn says he has never seen a fire travel so fast and escalate so quickly and he believes that was because of strong winds off the nearby Charles River. He says firefighters rescued people from the upper floors of the multi-unit building in the Back Bay neighborhood Wednesday. No civilians were hurt.
Finn says Walsh and Kennedy went inside the building and then into the basement, where it appears the fire started. They called a mayday two or three minutes after entering but couldn’t be saved.
There will be an investigation. But Finn says all indications are the fire was accidental.
“It’s a sad day for the city of Boston,” said Boston Fire Commissioner John Hasson, reported WCVB. “Our hearts go out to the families. It’s just a tragic day for everyone involved in this incident.”
Walsh was 43 and had been with the department for almost a decade.
He was married with three children under the age of 10. He resided in West Roxbury.
Kennedy was a 33-year-old Marine Corps veteran who was single and lived in Hyde Park. He’d been with the department for over six years.
“We lost two heroes. It makes me proud to be mayor of the city of Boston after watching how the men and women of the Boston Fire Department worked today. These two heroes ran into a burning building and got people out of the building,” Mayor Marty Walsh said.