Posts Tagged ‘Boston fire department’

Boston commemorates September 11, 13 years on.

From the Public Garden memorial to the State House, to a special honor at Boston’s Engine 33 and Ladder 15

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Boston fire Lt. Steven Minehan died 20 years ago today.

On this date in 1994, Boston fire Lieutenant Steven F. Minehan, of Boylston street’s Ladder 15, died in a 9-alarm fire  in Charlestown, after he became trapped in a large warehouse as he searched for other trapped firefighters. I had been a staff photographer at the Boston Herald for almost 15 months that night when, police scanners broke the silence of what had been a quiet evening. What I heard on the fireground radio was even more disturbing. John Landers Jr., then night desk photo editor, also heard the initial call for help, and he dispatched me to the scene. Below are my photos from that night and from Lt. Minehan’s funeral. Over the years I have been lucky to be able to call Lt. Minehan’s wife Kathy a friend. RIP Lt. Minehan. The photo of Lt. Minehan, at bottom of page, is courtesy of Bill Noonan. 

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Moving awards ceremony honoring Boston’s best firefighters.

            The 135th Annual Ball and Awards Ceremony of the Boston Fire Department honored 20 firefighters last night who, according to Interim Fire CommissionerJohn F. Hasson, “have distinguished themselves in the performance of their duty during 2013.” Hasson spoke to the large crowd at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel and touched upon the bravery displayed at the April 15 Boston Marathon terrorist attack where “members, on duty or off, performed their duties with the utmost bravery”. Firefighter Douglas Menard, of Engine Company 14, was awarded the John E. Fitzgerald Medal for the Most Meritorious Act. His plaque description reads: “On April 15, 2013, two bombs were detonated by terrorists at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon. Fire Fighter Douglas Menard was in close proximity to the bomb detonation and was knocked off balance by the explosion. Without hesitation and under the uncertain threat of more bombs, he came upon his first victim, a mother covering her teenage daughter’s injured leg. He applied a tourniquet and moved on to several other victims with burning cloths caused by the hot metal fragments of the bomb. He extinguished their burning cloths and provided first aid to their burns. After receiving several reports of victims in the Marathon Sports building, he entered the building and, aided by other firefighters, continued to to provide first aid to multiple victims.”
Nineteen other firefighters were honored for heroic acts performed in 2013.

Firefighter Douglas Menard, with John F. Hasson, Interim Fire Commissioner, and Joseph E. Finn, Deputy Chief, at right.

Firefighter Douglas Menard, with John F. Hasson, Interim Fire Commissioner, and Joseph E. Finn, Deputy Chief, at right.
Medal of Honor recipients, Fire Lieutenant Sean M. O'Brien, engine company 7, at left, and firefighter Charles M. Buchanan engine company 24, among others.

Medal of Honor recipients, Fire Lieutenant Sean M. O’Brien, engine company 7, at left, and firefighter Charles M. Buchanan engine company 24, and Michael Foley.

Medal of Honor recipients, Fire Lieutenant Sean M. O'Brien, engine company 7, at left, and firefighter Charles M. Buchanan engine company 24, among others.

Medal of Honor recipients, Fire Lieutenant Sean M. O’Brien, engine company 7, at left, and firefighter Charles M. Buchanan engine company 24, among others.

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On January 9, 2009, a Boston fire crew’s ladder truck suffered a catastrophic mechanical failure returning from a call on Mission Hill. Boston fire Lieutenant Kevin Kelley died after the truck slammed into a building on Huntington Ave. It is hard to believe that five years have passed. Here is a photo of the very solemn moments after Lt. Kelley’s colleagues recovered him from the rubble. Needless to say it was a very difficult photo to snap at the time. There was not a dry eye in the area at that moment.

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When Kathleen Kieran arrived at 306 South St., her childhood home that her family has owned for over 50 years, she was overcome with emotion as she walked through the multitudes of Boston firefighters, to a position in the front yard, near the front door. Firefighters, including Lt. Bill Gillis of Engine #14, intercepted her travels and guided her to a safer spot away from heat and smoke. Patricia Adams, Kieran’s sister, who still lives in the home, then took her from the firefighters and guided her toward the back of a Boston EMS truck where the sisters would stay for several minutes as they gathered their thoughts. The four alarm fire that started near the 1pm hour, destroyed the large old building. Firefighters don’t believe the fire to be suspicious. Please see my photos below, and the Boston Herald story, written by Erin Smith, here

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Arsonist on the Loose in Boston’s Allston Section

I was photographing the 2nd of 3 deliberately set fires in the Pratt street area of Allston when neighbors pointed firefighters toward another fire that was burning. I ran with the firefighters, the arson squad and Boston police arson detective James Freeman toward the rear of an Ashford street home. Heavy fire was pushing out from the car and starting to ignite the shingles on the side of the structure. My photos below show Detective James Freeman and firefighters stretching hoses to the fire. The last photo shows Jeff Intinarelli, as he checks his totaled, still smoldering car. In all, this morning’s 3 arson fires destroyed a total of 5 cars. This makes a total of 8 deliberate burns in the span of 7 weeks in this small area of Allston. Over 10 cars have been destroyed. Check out my photos and Herald reporter John Zaremba’s story at bostonherald.com

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The Boston fire department saved this building after a stubborn 2-alarm fire broke out on the 3rd floor Saturday. The middle photo shows district chief Frank Jones with insulation on top of his head after the 3rd floor ceiling at 251 Saratoga St. was finally cracked open. The fire caused $250,000.00 damage. Please see my photos below. Shot on assignment for the Boston Herald.


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I got to the scene of this fire fairly late due to heavy traffic and then congestion around Beacon Hill. The 2nd alarm was struck as I was arriving. The basement fire would extend to 4-alarms and would also heavily affect the apartments above. I was photographing the firefighting efforts in the front of the building when I noticed the woman below arriving across the street from the fire building to find her upper floor apartment filled with smoke. She naturally became very emotional and that’s when I spotted Boston fire Lt. Tom Murray springing into action to comfort her and explain to her what was going on. She was then escorted to an area where she could have some privacy (away from the press) and then she left. After hours of trying, I never got her name. I wish her the best. Here are three of my photos from today and here is my Herald photo gallery.


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On This Date in My Photo History: June 12, 2005

(06/12/05-Boston,Mass.) Boston Firefighters honor their departed brothers. Boston Firefighters are seen at Forest Hills Cemetery for the annual memorial service.

Boston Firefighters march into Forest Hills Cemetery.

Above, Ashley Martin, age 2 years, whose father is a Boston Firefighter, strolls amid the grave markers of fallen firefighters at Forest Hills Cemetery.

Above, Boston firefighters bow their heads after placing flowers on markers representing their fallen comrades at Forest Hills Cemetery.

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