Officials: Firefighters saved lives before they gave their own

Kennedy (l) and Walsh. <a href="http://twitpic.com/dzh1o7">photos by BFD</a>.

Lt. Ed Walsh of Engine 33 and firefighter Michael Kennedy of Ladder 15 died this afternoon in the basement of a Beacon Street building they had rushed into to help save residents trapped on topped floors, fire officials said at a press conference tonight.

"It's a sad day for the city of Boston," Mayor Walsh said. "We lost 2 heroes here today."

Deputy Chief Joseph Finn said the two firefighters raced down into the basement, where the fire at 298 Beacon St. originated. Finn said the current thinking is that a window blew out and "threw the fire at them." He added that several of the 13 other firefighters injured in the fire suffered burns due to the "backdraft explosion."

Finn said strong winds likely contributed to the problems. He said in his 33 years as a firefighter, he had never seen a fire spread so fast.

He added that Walsh's body was not recovered from the basement until about 7:30 p.m. - the building was in such precarious condition, it was risky for firefighters to try to get him.

Finn said Walsh, 43, who leaves three children under the age of 10, lived in West Roxbury, while Kennedy, 33, a Marine Corps veteran, lived in Hyde Park.

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Comments

Two brave men

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May they both rest in peace. Condolences to their families, especially the young children.

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Ed Walsh's Family

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What can be done so members of the community can help Ed Walsh's family pay the bills and pay tuition for college when the time comes?

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I believe that's called "insurance"

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It's not like either of these folks were uneducated, unemployed, or unaware of what they did for a living.

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That's me: cold and bitter

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Yeah, I debated posting that, because I knew there would be a few "You're so meeean" and "You're so cold I bet your mommy doesn't love you" replies.

Look, these folks chose to do a job that's inherently dangerous that most people after kindergarten decide isn't such a smart idea after all. I'm glad they do it, and I appreciate their efforts. But it's not like you're passing the hat for random good Samaritans who ran into a burning building on the spur of the moment. This isn't a small town volunteer force. These are Boston FD, who are well paid for their time, they get a ton of benefits, and, when they retire (at an early age, mind you) they continue to get benefits for life. They have insurance as part of the job which includes survivor benefits, and there was nothing stopping either of them from also paying for a term life insurance policy for the duration of their working life out of their own pocket as well.

If this arrangement isn't good enough for you then maybe instead of passing the hat for the FD folks only when bad things like this happen you should be garnering support for insurance benefits for the FD workers. After all, wouldn't a standardized "passed hat" backed by an policy be a better (and fairer) solution than the temperamental kindness of strangers? Oh, wait, that's what we already have! But hey, feel free to call me a cold and bitter asshole because I pointed this out.

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Loser

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Never have I wanted to thumbs down/dislike a comment on UHub as much as this one. Heartless loser.

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Families

As the son of a BFD firefighter who died in the line of duty, you shouldn't worry about the family's financial situation.

By all means donate some additional money, I just wanted to point out that the Boston Fire Union, The Hundred Club, the State, Feds and slew of other groups do a ALOT of work to support the families... for their entire lives.

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I'm sure there will be

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I'm sure there will be charities set up in the next couple of weeks, be patient and don't forget how you feel right now. Don't give money to some random online charity account, especially when you have no way of verifying who the money is going to.

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Hundred Club

There is already one charity that has been around since 1959 expressely to benefit the families of fallen police and fire.

It's call The Hundred Club of Massachussettes:

They helped me through two college degrees and to this day send my mother tickets to Red Sox playoff games, dinners, etc.

If you have a burning desire to donate to the families, do it through the Hundred Club.

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Michael Kennedy worked and

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Michael Kennedy worked and was assigned to an East Boston firehouse before starting at engine 33 in the back bay.

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Keep in mind

That Engine 33 is about a block from where one of the bombs went off last April.

They were the ones running toward the carnage when everyone else was running away. It is what they do.

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This is why I still

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tear up whenever I see the "When others ran out, they ran in" billboard. Rest in peace. Please let us know where to donate.

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One word: Heroes.

One word: Heroes.

They and their comrades would do it again, knowing exactly what would happen, over and over again, if they thought it could save someone's life. I'm proud to call some of these firefighters personal friends, they all have my utmost respect.

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I think sometimes people

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I think sometimes people cheapen the term hero when they use it for every policeman or soldier out there. Every fireman is deserving of that title and these two especially. I can't imagine what it takes to enter a burning building knowing that it could be your last moment alive. I can't think of anyone more deserving of respect and gratitude than these men and as the other person said, I am sure the money his widow will receive will help but not completely cover college costs etc. and if anyone knows of a fund started in his name please post a link here.

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Beautifully put. I did not

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Beautifully put. I did not personally know either man, but have many mutual contacts and friends. Both by all accounts seem like truly upstanding individuals. I am particularly struck that Firefighter Kennedy was not only a Marine Corps veteran but also volunteered with the Burn Foundation and Big Brother Association - he clearly was a man for others. Lt. Walsh was well known to many in West Roxbury and leaves behind three young children, I am so heartbroken for those children and their mother I don't even know what to really say. True heroes in every sense of the word, no embellishment needed.

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MK

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Dork was a fucking champion. RIP

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I used to live right by

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I used to live right by Engine 33/Ladder 15, and when walking past their firehouse on nice days, the guys have the overhead doors open and sit right next to the sidewalk. I'm pretty sure I've said "hi" to both of them on numerous occasions, but Michael Kennedy looks very familiar for sure.

My heartfelt condolences to both families of these brave heroes.

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