Hundreds of people listened to the sound of a fire alarm Wednesday night, the same alarm that summoned crews to the Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse fire in Massachusetts 15 years ago, where six of them would not return from.
"Those six brave men walked into the Worcester Cold Storage building and into our hearts and city's history," Mayor Joseph Petty said.
In an emotional memorial service Wednesday, those six firefighters were remembered for their bravery and sacrifice after running into a burning building to save the lives of others.
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"Strength, honor, valor and service: that is the legacy of these six men," Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus said.
Worcester Fire Chief Gerard Dio held back tears, telling the crowd that their sacrifice also acted as a catalyst by bringing significant funding and safety improvements to firefighters everywhere.
"Much good has arisen out of ashes from the tragedy," he said.
With each passing year, the loss is still felt by the department and the city as a whole for these men whose spirits will live on and whose legacy is helping others remain safe.
"We all extend our heartfelt thank you to the brave souls who perished that night. Paul, Tim, Jerry, Jay, Joe and Tom, your courage and sacrifice will never be forgotten," Chief Dio said.