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Cause of Fatal Boston Fire Revealed

Firefighter Michael Kennedy and Lt. Ed Walsh were killed in a nine-alarm blaze on Beacon Street March 26.

Firefighters battle a nine-alarm blaze at 298 Beacon St. Two firefighters died. Credit: Boston Fire Department
Firefighters battle a nine-alarm blaze at 298 Beacon St. Two firefighters died. Credit: Boston Fire Department

Officials on Friday said a group of welders accidentally ignited a nine-alarm fire in Boston last week that killed two firefighters and injured about 20 more first responders.

The fire broke out in a four-story brownstone at 298 Beacon St. March 26. Boston Fire Commissioner John Hassan said welders were working in the back of the building.

"The slag or the sparks from the welding operation got in under the clapboards or the shingles," Hassan said. "(The fire) was fed by the wind off the Charles (River) and ultimately consumed the whole building."

Criminal charges are a possibility, officials said, as the workers did not secure a permit as is required by law.

Officials said the welders were doing work on the rear of the building.

The fire killed Lt. Ed Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy. Kennedy's funeral was held Thursday; Walsh's was held Wednesday.

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