Boston Fire Truck Crashes Into Complex, Killing Firefighter

A Boston Fire Department ladder truck coming down a hill plowed through an intersection Friday and crashed into a high-rise apartment building, killing one firefighter and seriously injuring a second.

Dozens of firefighters bowed their heads and held their helmets over their hearts as they created a pathway for the body of the firefighter - covered in black body bag on a stretcher - to be carried from the wreckage and put into an ambulance.

The truck apparently barreled down the steep Parker Hill Avenue, went through the intersection at Huntington Avenue and slammed into the building, said Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald.

MacDonald confirmed four firefighters were among those injured. Three firefighters taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center were in good condition, said spokeswoman Zineb Marchoudi.

Jennifer Mehigan, a spokeswoman for Boston EMS, said one firefighter with serious injuries was taken to Brigham and Women's Hospital, where a spokeswoman said she could not comment on the person's condition.

The truck struck the first floor of the building, damaging a computer lab where witnesses said several children were working.

Three children were treated for minor injuries at Children's Hospital and released, said spokeswoman Erin McColgan.

Mehigan said five people not involved in the accident were taken to hospitals to be checked because of anxiety-related symptoms.

The accident closed part of Huntington Avenue - a major thoroughfare near Northeastern University and several of the city's major medical centers.

The truck struck several cars and a brick wall before becoming lodged in the building.

Danyelle Jones, 24, said she was throwing away trash on the eighth floor and was nearly knocked over by the collision.

"I heard a loud boom and my back got all twisted up," she said.

Jones said authorities told everyone to stay in their apartments shortly before the power went out. The building's 124 residents were then told to evacuate the building, though some remained inside.

The tall red brick structure is owned by the nonprofit Roxbury Tenants of Harvard, a housing and human service organization that was founded by residents of the neighborhood in 1969.

WHDH-TV and The Boston Globe reported the same ladder truck involved in Friday's accident was involved in a minor accident on Dec. 10, when the truck rear-ended a car at the intersection of Huntington and Longwood Avenues, causing minor damage and no injuries. The Globe reported, citing an unnamed city official, that an investigation found no problem with the truck's brakes then, and that the driver of the car was found to be at fault for cutting off the fire truck.

This program aired on January 9, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.


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