BOSTON The two Boston firefighters who died Wednesday in a nine-alarm blaze at a city apartment building are being remembered for their professionalism on the job and their dedication to friends and family while off duty.
Lt. Edward Walsh and firefighter Michael Kennedy were killed in the fast-moving blaze.
Walsh, from West Roxbury, was a married father of two sons and a daughter.
The 43-year-old came from a firefighting family. His late father and his late uncle were Watertown firefighters and his cousin Tom is now a captain for the Watertown department.
Walsh, who had served with the Boston department for nine-and-a-half years, looked like a prototypical firefighter.
Former City Councilor John Tobin told The Boston Herald Walsh was 6-foot-4 or 6-5 and “out of central casting.” Tobin added that “if you were to do a show on firefighters, [Walsh] would be your lead.” The pair met through their sons, who go to school together.
“Ed Walsh was a gentleman,” state Rep. John Lawn Jr., who grew up with Walsh, told The Boston Globe. “He just always had a smile and had his hand out.”
The 33-year-old Kennedy was a Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq.
Nicknamed “Dork,” according to the Globe, he was remembered by friends for his sense of humor and his involvement in charitable activities. He sat on the board of the Boston Firefighter Burn Foundation, which volunteers with burn patients.
The Globe also reported that Kennedy was a first responder who rushed to treat victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.
An avid motorcycle rider, Kennedy, who was single and lived in Hyde Park, had served with the department for six-and-a-half years.
“I can guarantee you he didn’t think twice about running in there [during the fire],” Ashley Duckett, an old friend of Kennedy’s, told the Globe.
With reporting by the WBUR Newsroom and The Associated Press