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Boston Fire Kills 2 Firefighters, Injures 13 More in Back Bay

Image: Boston Fire Kills 2 Firefighters, Injures 13 More in Back Bay Michael R. Kennedy, left, and Lt. Edward J. Walsh.

Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 09:55 AM

By Alexandra Ward

A fast-moving Boston fire claimed the lives of two firefighters Wednesday as they struggled to fight the flames that broke out at a four-story apartment building in the city's Back Bay neighborhood.

Lt. Edward J. Walsh Jr., 43, and firefighter Michael R. Kennedy, 33, died in the fire, which sparked around 3 p.m. in an apartment building on Beacon Street and quickly grew into a nine-alarm blaze, the Boston Globe reported.

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"The fire escalated very quickly," Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Finn said at a press briefing Wednesday night. "In 30 years, I've never seen a fire travel that fast, escalate that quickly, and cause such havoc."

It's not clear yet what started the fire, the Globe noted, but it marked the first time Boston firefighters had died in a blaze since 2007.

Walsh and Kennedy reportedly entered the burning apartment building and went downstairs to the basement where they became trapped. The fire was then intensified by wind gusts of up to 45 mph that blustered around the scene.

"Our hearts are heavy with the knowledge that these brave men gave their lives to protect the safety of our city and its people," Mayor Martin J. Walsh said at the news conference. "A day like today makes us all too aware of what they are risking in the course of doing their jobs. They are heroes simply by virtue of accepting this duty."

Thirteen other firefighters were also injured in the blaze, as well as a handful of others.

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