Investigation into Fatal Back Bay Fire Continues

Beacon Street remains closed Thursday morning.

The building at 298 Beacon St. Photo Credit: Boston Fire Department
The building at 298 Beacon St. Photo Credit: Boston Fire Department

Beacon Street is still closed Thursday morning as officials look to find the cause of Wednesday’s 9-alarm fire that claimed the lives of two Boston firefighters and injured more than a dozen first responders. 

Lt. Ed Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy were killed after firefighters were trapped. Deputy Fire Chief Joe Finn told reporters Wednesday night he’s never see a fire travel so fast.

"(It) was blowing like a blowtorch," he said at the news conference, adding high winds of up to 50 mph during the day stoked the flames.

While Finn said there was no initial evidence of arson Wednesday night, the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The nine-alarm blaze broke out at about 2:45 p.m. in the basement of 298 Beacon St. Firefighters were still at the scene bringing it under control late last night. The building had eight apartments and all residents are accounted for, according to the Boston Fire Department.

Walsh, 43, of West Roxbury, served on Engine Company 33. He was married and had three children all under the age of 10. Lt. Walsh's late father was a lieutenant in the Watertown Fire Department, as was his late Uncle Bill. His cousin Tom is currently a Captain, also in Watertown.

Kennedy, 33, of Hyde Park, served on Ladder Company 15. He was single and served in the Marine Corps. Kennedy sat on the the board of the Boston Firefighters Burn Foundation. A group that volunteers with burn patients.

Walsh was pronounced dead at the scene, while Kennedy was pronounced dead at Mass General Hospital.

Thirteen firefighters and several police officers were also injured in the blaze. Their injuries ranged from burns to broken bones, according Finn.


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