For Immediate Release
August 30, 2007
For More Information Contact:
Mayor, City Mourn Two Boston Fire Fighters
Mayor Thomas M. Menino, alongside Boston Fire Commissioner Rod Fraser, Fire Chief Kevin McCurtain, President of Boston Firefighters Local 718 Ed Kelly, among others, announced what is known so far about the tragic fire in West Roxbury last night that took the lives of two Boston firefighters. Paul J. Cahill and Warren J. Payne, both from the West Roxbury Centre St. fire station, were killed in the line of duty last night, and 11 others were injured fighting a four-alarm blaze that started in a Chinese food restaurant.
"We are all aware of the risks our public safety officers take to protect us – they always put our needs before their own. But that doesn't make it any easier to accept the harsh reality we find ourselves in today," Mayor Menino said. "Today is a day for the city of Boston to come together – to grieve, to reflect, and to gain a new appreciation for the courageous men and women of the Boston Fire Department."
Commissioner Fraser stated that he has called for a joint union- department inquiry into the events of last night. Chief MacCurtain described the scene from last night and said this fire was unique in that it was located in between the double ceiling of the restaurant and may have taken time to be detected. The large air conditioning unit that fell was also a major factor in the size of the fire. The department continues to investigate the incident and will publish a report when all findings have been determined. The cause of death of both Cahill and Payne is still under investigation.
"This is a tough time for the Boston Fire Department," Commissioner Fraser said. "We are very thankful for the outgoing support the community and the nation have shown in the aftermath of this tragedy. We ask that your prayers are with the families of the fallen and those of the injured."
Mayor Menino offered thanks for the support the community has given to the Boston Fire Department. The BFD appreciates any and all assistance for the families of the fallen and injured. A fund has also been established by the Boston Firefighters Credit Union and donations can be made to the following address:
West Roxbury Fire Fund
c/o Boston Firefighters Credit Union
60 Hallet Street
Dorchester, MA 02124
617 288 2420
Ten Boston firefighters and one paramedic were also injured trying to fight last night's fire. They are:
Firefighter Paul Stanley, Rescue 2 – taken to Brigham and Women's Hospital and released
Lieutenant Don Mullen, Rescue 2 – taken to Brigham and Women's Hospital and released
Firefighter Reynaldo Estremara, Ladder 16 - admitted to Beth Israel Hospital, discharged
Firefighter Ken Gibson, Engine 55 – admitted to Beth Israel Hospital
Firefighter Ed Saniuk, Tower Ladder 10 – taken to Beth Israel Hospital and released
Taken to Beth Israel Hospital last night as a precaution:
Captain Stephen Keogh, Engine 30
Firefighter Bryan Dale, Engine 30
Firefighter Charles Follet, Engine 30
Lieutenant Michael Palizzolo, Ladder 25
Firefighter Robert Hayes, Ladder 25
Firefighter Michael Feeney, Ladder 25
In regard to the five businesses that were damaged in the four alarm blaze, a team of City agencies, including the Office of Business Development, Inspectional Services and the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services, is working with business owners to them get back on their feet. The City's Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) will provide grants of up to $5,000 to each damaged business, along with immediate technical assistance and expedited permitting to get them back in business as soon as possible. DND also has an engineer and an architect working with the businesses to assist them with their reopening.
The preliminary estimates of the damage to the five businesses ranges from minimal smoke and water damage to the total loss of the Thai Ho restaurant.