The Sunday morning fire that killed Worcester firefighter Christopher Roy quickly conjured memories of seven other firefighter deaths in the Massachusetts city, including six killed one evening nearly two decades ago.
The eight deaths, in three fires, all happened in December, just weeks before Christmas.
A fire broke out at the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Company on Dec. 3, 1999. Worcester Fire Lt. Thomas Spencer, Lt. James Lyons and firefighters Joseph McGuirk, James Lyons, Jeremiah Lucey, Timothy Jackson and Paul Brotherton were killed responding to the fire.
About 12 years later, on Dec. 8, 2011, another firefighter, Jon Davies, was killed fighting a fire on Arlington Street.
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On Sunday, Roy's death came less than a week after the community remembered the deaths of the Worcester 6.
"It brought back a lot. It brought back a few tears," said James Alexander of Worcester. "It's just very sad and my heart goes out to that family."
For Ariana Guzman, Roy's death came as a shock — he was her former manager when the two worked at a restaurant about a decade ago.
"It's tough, and, of course, knowing him personally — it was definitely a little hard hit to know that somebody I actually knew had passed," Guzman said.
Guzman, who now works as a bartender at Wicked Wing Company in Worcester, is collecting donations at the restaurant for Roy's family through Friday.
She said her current boss, who also worked with Roy years ago, arranged a special tribute at the bar — a reserved barstool, a pint of Guinness and a shot of Jameson. They said they wanted to give Roy "one last drink."