BFD Lt. Ed Walsh, FF Michael Kennedy killed in Back Bay fire - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

BFD Lt. Ed Walsh, FF Michael Kennedy killed in Back Bay fire

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Wednesday night officials with the Boston Fire Department held a news conference to announce two line of duty deaths that occurred while fighting a fire in Boston’s Back Bay.

“It’s a sad day for us and for the city of Boston and our hearts go out to the families,” Interim Boston Fire Commissioner John Hasson said.

Firefighter Michael Kennedy and Lt. Ed Walsh went into the basement, where the originally-controlled fire is believed to have started, but were trapped when fierce winds caused a backdraft.

“I’m making an assumption here that one of the windows or whatever broke out front and drew the fire up because they called a mayday in a very short period of time,” Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Finn said."Something extraordinary happened to have them call a mayday, and you know, the end result was, you know, we had two firefighters killed."

Kennedy was removed about 30 minutes later and taken to Mass. General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Firefighters were unable to get to Walsh's body for several hours. His body was carried out on a stretcher and past a line of saluting firefighters before police escorted the body down Storrow Drive.

“Citizens were saved and that’s what we do. We sacrifice our lives for the citizens of the City of Boston. That’s what Firefighter Michael Kennedy and Lt. Eddy Walsh did today and I’m very proud of the firefighters today that worked hard, I’m very proud of Firefighter Kennedy and Lt. Walsh,” Boston Fire Union President Rich Paris said at a news conference.

Kennedy, 33, lived in Hyde Park and was a 6 ½ year Boston firefighter and a Marine Corps. veteran. He was a member of Ladder Company 15 on Boylston St.

Walsh, 43, lived in West Roxbury and was a 9 ½ year member of BFD assigned to Engine Company 33 on Boylston Street. Walsh was married with two sons and a daughter under the age of ten.

“It makes me proud to be mayor of the City of Boston after watching the way the men and women of the Boston Fire Department worked today. These two heroes ran into a burning building,” Mayor Marty Walsh said.

Memorial services are set for next week.

"We will work with the families, and it will be a traditional line of duty funeral service. We expect, you know, firefighters from the northeast will be coming to show support," said Finn.

Officials said the fire appears to be accidental.

Exeter Road, which was closed, has been reopened, but the area near the fire on Beacon St. is still shut down.

The Boston Firefighter's Credit Union has established the Lieutenant Walsh - Firefighter Kennedy Memorial Fund. Donations on the website will be set up shortly, but for now, people willing to donate can send a check to:

Lieutenant Walsh - Firefighter Kennedy Memorial Fund
Boston Firefighters Credit Union
60 Hallet Street
Dorchester, MA 02124

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