Fallen Boston Firefighters' Families Push for 'Hot Work' Bill to Prevent Tragedies Like Back Bay Fire - NECN
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Fallen Boston Firefighters' Families Push for 'Hot Work' Bill to Prevent Tragedies Like Back Bay Fire

Families of Boston firefighter Michael Kennedy and Lt. Ed Walsh are pushing for change to prevent tragedies like the deadly Back Bay fire from happening in the future

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Back Bay Firefighters' Relatives Testify on 'Hot Work'

    It's been five years since a fast-moving fire on Beacon Street claimed the lives of two Boston firefighters. The relatives of Ed Walsh and Michael Kennedy are hoping to avoid a similar tragedy in the future.

    (Published Tuesday, March 26, 2019)

    Four years after two Boston firefighters were killed battling a 9-alarm blaze in the Back Bay neighborhood, their family members are pushing for change to prevent future tragedies.

    "Accidents happen. Their deaths were no accident," said Lt. Ed Walsh's sister, Kristin Walsh.

    Lt. Walsh and firefighter Michael Kennedy died in 2014, when a fire on Beacon Street was ignited by sparks from welders working on an iron handrail. They did not have proper permits, certification or supervision.

    The fallen firefighters' families gave impassioned pleas to state lawmakers Wednesday, calling for action to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again.

    Death Toll, Damages Climb From Typhoon Hagibis

    [NATL] Death Toll, Damages Climb From Typhoon Hagibis

    The death toll from Typhoon Hagibis climbed to 53 on Tuesday, days after it tore through Japan and left hundreds of thousands of homes wrecked, flooded or out of power. Hagibis caused more than 200 rivers to overflow when it hit the island nation on Saturday.

    (Published Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019)

    "Given the intense wind and weather conditions on that day, why anyone thought it made sense to ignite a torch on March 26, 2014, is beyond me," Kristin Walsh said.

    "I still struggle with the fact that nobody is in jail," said Kennedy's mother, Kathy Crosby Bell. "Please remedy that."

    Kennedy's mother and Walsh's sister lobbied the state legislature's "Hot Works" committee to pass legislation that would not only make certification required statewide, but would increase the current penalties for performing welding and grinding without the proper permits from minimal fines to much larger fines and even jail time.

    "If you have a maximum fine structure of $1,000 and it costs [between $400 and $600] a day to have a fire watch on that building, builders may take that risk," said Saugus Fire Chief Michael Newbury with the Fire Chiefs Association.

    "I think it's a travesty that it isn't already there," Crosby Bell said. "Four years is too long for this."

    The Hot Works committee has an August 15 deadline for reporting its findings and recommending legislation.

    Quadruple Murder Suspect Brings Body to Police Station

    [NATL] Quadruple Murder Suspect Brings Body to Police Station

    A Roseville, California, man is in custody after he turned himself in to police in connection to a quadruple homicide.  The body of one of his victims was in the car he drove to the police station in Mount Shasta, more than 200 miles away from the original Roseville crime scene.

    (Published Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019)

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