Deadly Back Bay fire caused by welders, officials say - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Deadly Back Bay fire caused by welders, officials say

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BOSTON (WHDH) - Officials said in a press conference on Friday that the Back Bay fire that resulted in the deaths of two firefighters were caused by welders working in the rear of the building.

The Fire Commissioner said the 9-alarm blaze started with welders that were working to fix an iron handrail. High winds picking up embers spread the fire into an open door.

The welder did not pull the proper permits for work at the building next door.

"If they apply for a permit the chief investigates and the chief will determine at the location what the potential hazards are and they will decide if a detail is required," Acting Boston Fire Commissioner John Hasson said.

Investigators do not believe the fire was started intentionally. So far, no charges have been filed, but an investigation is still ongoing.

"I am confident they will pursue the appropriate course of action in this case, and they have my full support as they continue this investigation and evaluate their next steps," Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement on Friday.

The name of the company that did the welding was not released. It's also unknown if welders were the ones that dialed 911.

Lt. Ed Walsh, 43, and Firefighter Michael Kennedy, 33, died when they became trapped in the basement of the building at 298 Beacon St.
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