So who's right about the welders: ABC News or the Globe?

Not long after fire and law-enforcement officials finished a press conference in which they blamed welding sparks for the fatal Beacon Street fire but declined to say much about the welders themselves, Michele McPhee, currently at ABC News, reported:

Sources said that the investigators believe the welders were aware of the fire and did not call 911 or alert anyone occupying the building about the blaze.

But tonight, the Globe's Maria Cramer reports:

Welders tried to warn others of Back Bay fire, officials say ...

After the fire started, the welders apparently tried to warn others, said two law enforcement officials with knowledge of the investigation who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the case.

So, who's right? McPhee doesn't help her case by misspelling the name of the fire commissioner.



    Free tagging: 


    Michelle McPhee is a

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    Michelle McPhee is a notoriously bad journalist. I'll stick with the Globe until more information surfaces.

    But why would anybody do that

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    But why would anybody do that ? Dont people realize there are cameras all over the place, up the ying yang . If you are welding or cutting the thinner type steel in a railing, get a hose and wet down the surrounding wood , rake up the leaves in the working area. Common sense for crying out loud, now two guys don't go home from work.

    As much as I loathe

    Michele (one L on Facebook!) McPhee, from what I understand she's engaged to a Boston firefighter and she does have deep sources in law enforcement. I'd have to give the edge to McPhee.

    Well, if that does turn out

    Well, if that does turn out to be true, then I'm guessing that it's probably pretty likely that criminal charges will be filed.

    Although, if I remember correctly, that homeless couple who started the Worcester fire, left the building, and then didn't tell the firefighters that they were out (thus, necessitating firefighters to go into the warehouse to look for them) were never charged with anything. So, who knows?

    According to the Telegram &

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    According to the Telegram & Gazette, they were charged, but the charges were dropped in 2010: The explanation for why the charges were dropped isn't 100% clear to me from the article, but it sounds like the judge felt the grand jury wasn't presented with sufficient evidence to justify the charges it returned. I don't know if that means they could have been charged with something different that wouldn't have been dismissed, or if it means there was actually no crime involved in what they did.

    The defense maintained that

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    The defense maintained that Mr. Levesque and Ms. Barnes were under no legal obligation to report the fire. While conceding that there is no statutory duty to report a fire in Massachusetts, the prosecution argued that the accidental starting of the warehouse fire triggered a corresponding duty to report it. Prosecutors contended that failing to report the fire created the likelihood of serious harm to the six firefighters who were killed.

    From here:

    both were legally retarded

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    They were not mentally capable of being responsible, and the fire fighters did nor want them charged or jailed in the first place. They thought the DA was way out of line.

    When Factual Information Is Available, She's Known To Ignore It

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    I used to listen to Michele McPhee's radio program once in a while, just for the comedy of it. She'd often take a piece of rumor or gossip and run with it as though it was true. When facts came out to the contrary, she'd ignore them and continue with her sensationalized innuendo.

    She claims to have many acquaintances in law enforcement, but that doesn't necessarily mean they tell her everything; nor if they did, that she'd report the facts cleanly and clearly. Past performance tells me that if two news outlets are disagreeing, Michele McPhee's side of the story is most likely to be incorrect, especially if it is the more sensational of the two scenarios.

    So, I'd favor The Globe over Michele.
         ( but I bet neither has all the facts right )

    Perhaps ...

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    But the issue now is who has better sources since the people who are at the top of the investigation aren't saying anything.


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    Full disclosure; I've been very disappointed since Diane Sawyer took over the desk, and long for Peter Jennings. I gave up on ABC News in utter disgust this past year when they did a report on a ghost. (Apparently they've never see what a bug looks like crawling across a security camera?)

    I suspect ABC News is lusting after CNN's Malaysian 370's ratings, and is jumping to conclusions. And/or reporting knee-jerk reactions of understandably upset fire investigators as fact. It was so windy that day that it is both entirely possible that the welders started a fire, ran away and called 911. Indeed, the 911 call (or emergency box pull; there are still one or two of them left about town) should be easily found an reported on.

    I'm going with the Globe at this point.

    Wait and see

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    The Globe doesn't have a great history of of accurately reporting Boston fire/police happenings either. Granted it's my paper of choice, but it should be read with some skepticism (like everything...).

    McPhee is a hack.

    She has the voice of an injured seagull, the street cred of Don Knotts and is as reliable as a used car salesman.

    Any word on why Engine-33 didn't get water?

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    Amazing that an obvious truth seems to be going unaddressed or being flat out ignored by the media. Engine 33's men in the basement repeatedly asked for water or in firemen's nomenclature, "charge the line!" It's unclear if they ever got water or if anyone in a command position even heard them until it was too late. Is anybody willing to ask fire officials about this? The question was raised here the day after the fire by an anonymous poster who seemed to have the same concerns as me, having listened to the BFD radio in real time and realizing the situation was turning tragic. A female reporter who was out of camera view at the press conference and later Channel 5 veteran Jack Harper seemed to catch on but when they asked the question the response was vague. We've heard it "might be" a (exceedingly rare) burned hose. May we see the hose or is that not the issue? Is anybody even asking?

    Something happened to their

    Something happened to their line. Other lines were run off 33 and operating properly...I wouldn't be surprised for an extraordinary reason when it finally comes, it was something no one could have prepared for.

    The fire, no?

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    Didn't I read somewhere the problem was the backdraft basically burned through the hose, so the firefighters outside were pumping water, but they were working with a hose no longer connected to anything?

    Ironic Internet advertising

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    I read through the comments and scrolled to the bottom of the page. The context-aware advertising showed me an ad for "Basic Welding Classes" from Trident Tech. Ironic.

    I wonder if one of the lessons is about securing permits.

    It was an aweful tragedy,

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    It was an aweful tragedy, never knew this day and age that several Boston firefighters would be killed in a fire, growing up in boston, can't recall this happening, 1970s 1980s ,Boston fire dept has one of the best and most sophisticated dept 's in all of America, I feel safe living Boston , than if I were living in a suburb in regards to fire response.,

    There are more than you could

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    There are more than you could imagine ,just the 70's & 80's

    141 3/3/1970 Gottwald George Joseph Fire Lieutenant Rescue-Pumper 3-Box 2124 Washington St., Roxbury Photo Info
    142 10/16/1970 Downing Joseph James Fire Lieutenant Engine 2 Box 7316 18 Dorchester St., South Boston Photo Info
    143 12/30/1970 Foley Edwin Harold Fire Fighter Engine 30 Box 285 Mt. Vernon&Chapin Sts., W. Roxbury Photo Info
    144 7/4/1971 Collins Jeremiah Fire Fighter Engine 45 Box 2593 Mt. Hope Cemetery Photo Info
    145 8/17/1971 McInness Daniel Thomas Fire Lieutenant Engine 8 Box 4239 Bldg. 42, Charlestown Navy Yard Photo Info
    146 11/5/1971 Doneghy James Francis Fire Fighter Ladder 30 Box 2388 Heath Street, Jamaica Plain Photo Info
    147 11/22/1971 Kelly Patrick J. Fire Fighter Engine 26 5-Box 1436 132 Lincoln Street, Downtown Photo Info
    148 5/11/1972 Hopkins John Alden Fire Fighter Engine 34 Box 51 Harvard Avenue, Allston Photo Info
    149 6/17/1972 Carroll Thomas James Fire Lieutenant Engine 32 4-Box 1571 160 Commonwealth Av., Back Bay Photo
    150 6/17/1972 Hanbury John Edward Fire Lieutenant Ladder 13 4-Box 1571 160 Commonwealth Av., Back Bay Photo
    151 6/17/1972 Beckwith Thomas W. Fire Fighter Engine 32 4-Box 1571 160 Commonwealth Av., Back Bay Photo
    152 6/17/1972 Boucher Joseph F. Fire Fighter Engine 22 4-Box 1571 160 Commonwealth Av., Back Bay Photo
    153 6/17/1972 Dolan Charles Everett Fire Fighter Ladder 13 4-Box 1571 160 Commonwealth Av., Back Bay Photo
    154 6/17/1972 Jameson John Edward Fire Fighter Engine 22 4-Box 1571 160 Commonwealth Av., Back Bay Photo
    155 6/17/1972 Magee Richard B. Fire Fighter Engine 33 4-Box 1571 160 Commonwealth Av., Back Bay Photo
    156 6/17/1972 Murphy Paul J. Fire Fighter Engine 32 4-Box 1571 160 Commonwealth Av., Back Bay Photo
    157 6/17/1972 Saniuk Joseph Peter Fire Fighter Ladder 13 4-Box 1571 160 Commonwealth Av., Back Bay Photo
    158 6/19/1972 Dimino Vincent Fire Fighter Ladder 30 Box 2394 Heath Square, Jamaica Plain Photo Info
    159 2/2/1973 Ceurvels Arthur Leo Fire Fighter Ladder 20 Box 7311 Southampton St., South Boston Photo Info
    160 10/14/1973 Carlson John W. Fire Fighter Engine 28 Box 2416 28 Cranston St., Jamaica Plain Photo Info
    161 1/22/1974 Tully Bernard G. Fire Fighter Engine 30 Still Alarm Centre St. & Buchanan Rd., W. Rox. Photo Info
    162 3/6/1974 Flahive (*1946) James Lieutenant Rescue 1 Box 1463 70 Chauncey St., Downtown Photo Info
    163 6/4/1975 Moran Hubert Francis Fire Lieutenant Ladder 6 Box 3535 38 Jones Ave., Dorchester Photo Info
    164 10/23/1976 Sheridan Richard P. Fire Fighter Ladder 16 3-Box 2241 22 Simmons Street, Roxbury Photo Info
    165 4/11/1977 O'Brien Hugh Francis Fire Fighter Ladder 5 Still Alarm Bellevue Hill, West Roxbury Photo Info
    166 2/7/1978 McDonough John Joseph Fire Fighter Lighting Plant 1 Box 1412 Atlantic Av. & Summer St., Downtown Photo Info
    167 11/27/1978 Greene Robert M. Fire Fighter Ladder 23 Box 3323 Alpha Rd., Dorchester Photo Info
    168 1/6/1981 Lentini Paul Michael Fire Lieutenant Engine 37 8-Box 1539 17 Arlington St., Back Bay Photo Info
    169 1/6/1981 Gibbons James M. Fire Fighter Engine 37 8-Box 1539 17 Arlington St., Back Bay Photo Info
    170 11/6/1983 Donovan Edward J. Fire Fighter/Paramedic Rescue 1 . 123 Oliver Street, Downtown Photo Info
    171 9/5/1985 Ealey James D. Fire Fighter Engine 3 . 618 Harrison Avenue, South End Photo Info
    172 1/8/1986 Conley Thomas L. Fire Fighter Engine 41 Box 5484 Bigelow & Dunboy Sts., Brighton Photo Info
    173 3/21/1986 Connolly Edward R. Fire Fighter L-17 (Dist. 4 Aide) 9-Box 7413 2-10 Mercer St., South Boston Photo Info