Posts Tagged ‘Boston fire department’

My Photos & Thoughts on the Deadly Boston Trench Collapse

While on the 7th hour of my Friday shift as a Boston Herald staff news photographer, I was summoned to  Beacon Hill for photo coverage of the Herald’s Home of the Week. I started that way from Melnea Cass Boulevard, near Northeastern University. While driving on Tremont St., approaching the traffic lights at Dartmouth St., I noticed the leading edge of what appeared to look like an ocean tide encroaching on a beach. This torrent of water, rolling down Dartmouth St., was quite strong. There was no audio from my police/fire radios regarding an event/emergency of this type, but I stopped anyway thinking this was newsworthy and might make for interesting photos.  I parked, still thinking that I was going to photograph a short-lived apparent water main break. It was then that I heard police sirens. I started to take photos, but when I came upon the scene something seemed different. A police sergeant told me to leave the street, and the faces of workers, neighbors, police, and shortly thereafter Boston firefighters, told a story of anguish and deep concern. It was shortly thereafter that I learned that one, and then another worker was presumed trapped. Steve Smith, a construction laborer working close by, and who was on a break when he heard screaming, sprung into action as he tried to reach the trapped workers. He tried to enter the hole but dangerous conditions forced him back. I retreated to the sidewalk and watched, then photographed, as he was reaching into the water to attempt to find the street plates covering part of the trench. On his hands and knees he finally found the part of the heavy plates where a chain can be affixed, to then lift with a backhoe. Smith seemed to pause for a split second, as exhaustion and grief overwhelmed him. Boston firefighters used sticks with hooks on the end to try and hook the workers, but to no avail. A very sad day. My photos appeared on page one and inside the October 22, 2016 issue of the Boston Herald.

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October 21, 2016-Boston,MA. A stunned Mirtha Colon, a resident of 10 Dartmouth St. apt B, watches firefighters scurry into position in the first moments after a trench collapse and water leak killed two workers Friday afternoon on Boston's Dartmouth street. CREDIT Boston Herald staff photo by Mark Garfinkel. NO BOSTON (Boston OUT) No sales No Mags

A stunned Mirtha Colon, a resident of 10 Dartmouth St. apt B, watches firefighters scurry into position in the first moments after a trench collapse and water leak killed two workers Friday afternoon on Boston’s Dartmouth street.

October 21, 2016-Boston,MA. Firefighters scurry into position in the first moments after a trench collapse and water leak killed 2 workers on Boston's Dartmouth street, Friday afternoon. CREDIT Boston Herald staff photo by Mark Garfinkel. NO BOSTON (Boston OUT) No sales No Mags

October 21, 2016-Boston,MA. Firefighters scurry into position in the first moments after a trench collapse and water leak killed 2 workers on Boston's Dartmouth street, Friday afternoon. CREDIT Boston Herald staff photo by Mark Garfinkel. NO BOSTON (Boston OUT) No sales No Mags

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October 21, 2016-Boston,MA. Firefighters and workers scurry into position in the first moments after a trench collapse and water leak killed at least one worker and injured another Friday afternoon on Dartmouth street.. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

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October 21, 2016-Boston,MA. Firefighters and workers scurry into position in the first moments after a trench collapse and water leak killed at least one worker and injured another Friday afternoon on Dartmouth street.. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

October 21, 2016-Boston,MA. Firefighters and workers scurry into position in the first moments after a trench collapse and water leak killed at least one worker and injured another Friday afternoon on Dartmouth street.. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

 

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Boston fire Lt. Steven Minehan died 22 years ago today.

On June 24, 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 while searching for other  firefighters who had become trapped. I had been a staff photographer at the Boston Herald for almost 15 months that night when, police/fire radio scanners broke the silence of what had been a quiet evening. John Landers Jr., then Herald night desk photo editor, and I heard the initial call for help from Minehan as 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. She is a very kind and considerate soul. RIP Lt. Minehan. The photo of Lt. Minehan, at bottom of page, is courtesy of Bill Noonan. 

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The oil tanker Hugli Spirit, anchored in Boston Harbor, alerted the Coast Guard to a medical crisis on board late this morning. The call, as heard on a police scanner, came into Boston police as “the captain of the ship is reportedly having a heart attack”. Boston Fire Dept., the U.S. Coast Guard, Boston EMS, Massachusetts State Police, Environmental Police, Winthrop Police and the Boston Police Harbor Unit all sent boats and personnel, as two ambulances waited on Drydock Ave. First responders borded the ship via a long ladder at the ship’s side. No word on the man’s condition. Below are my photos, mostly made with an 1140mm telephoto lens. Photos made on my shift as a Boston Herald photographer.

04/29/2016-Boston,MA. The oil tanker Hugli Spirit is seen anchored in Boston Harbor with police and fire rescue boats around it, and EMS personnel climbing outer stairs to the ship, as a medical incident was reported on board, near the noon hour Friday. A person was taken off the ship. Staff Photo by Mark Garfinkel

04/29/2016-Boston,MA. The oil tanker Hugli Spirit is seen anchored in Boston Harbor with police and fire rescue boats around it, and EMS personnel climbing outer stairs to the ship, as a medical incident was reported on board, near the noon hour Friday. A person was taken off the ship. Staff Photo by Mark Garfinkel

04/29/2016-Boston,MA. The oil tanker Hugli Spirit is seen anchored in Boston Harbor with police and fire rescue boats around it, as a medical incident was reported on board, near the noon hour Friday. A person was taken off the ship. Staff Photo by Mark Garfinkel

04/29/2016-Boston,MA. The oil tanker Hugli Spirit is seen anchored in Boston Harbor with police and fire rescue boats around it, as a medical incident was reported on board, near the noon hour Friday. A person was taken off the ship. Staff Photo by Mark Garfinkel

04/29/2016-Boston,MA. The oil tanker Hugli Spirit is seen anchored in Boston Harbor with police and fire rescue boats around it, as a medical incident was reported on board, near the noon hour Friday. A person was taken off the ship. Staff Photo by Mark Garfinkel

04/29/2016-Boston,MA. The oil tanker Hugli Spirit is seen anchored in Boston Harbor with police and fire rescue boats around it, as a medical incident was reported on board, near the noon hour Friday. A person was taken off the ship. Staff Photo by Mark Garfinkel

04/29/2016-Boston,MA. The Boston Police Marine Unit is seen, in foreground, as it left he oil tanker Hugli Spirit, at top of photo, after a medical incident was reported on board, near the noon hour Friday. A person was taken off the ship. Staff Photo by Mark Garfinkel

04/29/2016-Boston,MA. The Boston Police Marine Unit is seen, in foreground, as it left he oil tanker Hugli Spirit, at top of photo, after a medical incident was reported on board, near the noon hour Friday. A person was taken off the ship. Staff Photo by Mark Garfinkel

04/29/2016-Boston,MA. From left, The Boston Police Marine, a Boston Fire rescue boat, and a U.S. Coast Guard boat are seen after leaving the oil tanker Hugli Spirit, after a medical incident was reported on board, near the noon hour Friday. A person was taken off the ship and is in the Fire Rescue boat, the middle boat here. Staff Photo by Mark Garfinkel

04/29/2016-Boston,MA. From left, The Boston Police Marine, a Boston Fire rescue boat, and a U.S. Coast Guard boat are seen after leaving the oil tanker Hugli Spirit, after a medical incident was reported on board, near the noon hour Friday. A person was taken off the ship and is in the Fire Rescue boat, the middle boat here. Staff Photo by Mark Garfinkel

04/29/2016-Boston,MA. A Boston Fire rescue boat speeds back to shore with a patient after taking a sick man off the oil tanker Hugli Spirit after a medical incident was reported on board, near the noon hour Friday. Staff Photo by Mark Garfinkel

04/29/2016-Boston,MA. A Boston Fire rescue boat speeds back to shore with a patient after taking a sick man off the oil tanker Hugli Spirit after a medical incident was reported on board, near the noon hour Friday. Staff Photo by Mark Garfinkel

04/29/2016-Boston,MA. A man suffering from an ailment, who had been aboard the oil tanker Hugli Spirit, is seen on a gurney after Boston EMS, fire and police Marine Unit officials, along with the Coast Guard and Environmental police took him off the ship, to a dock, and then to a waiting ambulance. Staff Photo by Mark Garfinkel

04/29/2016-Boston,MA. A man suffering from an ailment, who had been aboard the oil tanker Hugli Spirit, is seen on a gurney after Boston EMS, fire and police Marine Unit officials, along with the Coast Guard and Environmental police took him off the ship, to a dock, and then to a waiting ambulance. Staff Photo by Mark Garfinkel

04/29/2016-Boston,MA. A man suffering from an ailment, who had been aboard the oil tanker Hugli Spirit, is seen on a gurney after Boston EMS, fire and police Marine Unit officials, along with the Coast Guard and Environmental police took him off the ship, to a dock, and then to a waiting ambulance. Staff Photo by Mark Garfinkel

04/29/2016-Boston,MA. A man suffering from an ailment, who had been aboard the oil tanker Hugli Spirit, is seen on a gurney after Boston EMS, fire and police Marine Unit officials, along with the Coast Guard and Environmental police took him off the ship, to a dock, and then to a waiting ambulance. Staff Photo by Mark Garfinkel

 

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On January 9, 2009, a Boston fire crew’s ladder truck, Ladder 26, 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 seven years have passed. Here is a photo of the very solemn moments after Lt. Kelley’s BFD colleagues, Boston EMS, and Boston police officials 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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The man who climbed the Tobin Bridge shortly after the conclusion of last Wednesday’s evening commute had many first responders looking out for his well being. Police scanner broadcasts indicated that Boston EMS, Firefighters and Police from Boston and Chelsea, Massachusetts State Police, and US Coast Guard sent units to the bridge. Boston Fire sent its Technical Rescue Unit, and Boston and Massachusetts State Police sent hostage negotiators. They were all very patient, as this effort took 2 hours. I was on scene to photograph, actually 1900 feet away in East Boston, according to Google Earth, when this drama played out. Photos below show an airbag inflated near Boston Fire’s Tower Ladder 3 on the upper deck roadway, a hostage negotiator with a bullhorn, and rescue boats in the water below. At one point the man can be seen inside one of the open air windows inside a steel beam, peering out. A first responder on scene told me later that night that the man had an amazing grip. The event was quite pressure packed for me. I hoped rescuers would save the man and did not want to see him fall. The final photo shows the man beginning his climb to safety. Below are several of my photos, including one that appeared in the Boston Herald. Herald colleagues, Matt Stone and Christopher Evans were also on scene, and their photos can be seen at the following link.

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Boston Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn, Boston Fire Fighters Local 718 President Richie Paris, and members of Boylston street’s Engine #33 and Ladder #15 came to 286 Beacon St. to commemorate the 2:40pm alarm of fire, one year ago today, that would turn into an inferno taking the lives of fire Lt. Edward Walsh, and firefighter Mike Kennedy. James Welsh, of Engine #33, spoke briefly while reading from a prepared text. as a burst of heavy rain pushed through, lasting only a few minutes. A moment of silence was then observed and then firefighters Joe Ford and Tim Freda placed flowers on the front stairs of the building. Here are some photos I snapped today. More in the Boston Herald, including a video.

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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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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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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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