Wednesday afternoon, Lieutenant Ed Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy of the Boston Fire Department died while fighting a 9 alarm blaze on Beacon Street in Boston's Back Bay. Ed Walsh was the father of three children, all under 10 years old. Michael Kennedy served with the US Marine Corps and was a combat veteran. Both worked out of the nearby firehouse on Boylston Street, Walsh with Engine 33 and Kennedy with Ladder 15.
It's likely that yesterday's high winds, sometimes gusting over 45 MPH in Boston, rapidly intensified the fire, and quickened its spread through the 4-story Brownstone near the Charles River. You can see the effects of the wind on the flames in this stunning piece of video.
This is a sports blog, and we obsess and even gush over quarterbacks and goaltenders and pitchers and point guards. However, these are the true heroes of our city, and in cities around the country and the world. The people that run toward the flames and the explosions and the gunshots and the car crashes. The people that put their life on the line for the lives of others. For strangers.
Think about it. If your house or your apartment or your office caught fire, a group of people who may never have met you will RUSH to get there, and risk life and limb to get you out. They'll bust their ass to save your home and to protect the other homes around yours.
That's pretty amazing. That's heroic.
Which makes the loss of two such heroes all the sadder.
To our fallen heroes, rest in peace. And thank you.