Funeral arrangements, memorial fund announced for firefighters killed in Back Bay blaze

The Boston Firefighters Local 718 and Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the creation of a memorial fund in honor of Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh Jr. and Michael R. Kennedy, who were killed while battling a nine-alarm blaze in the Back Bay on Wednesday.

This combination made with undated photos released by the Boston Fire Department via Twitter shows firefighters Michael R. Kennedy, left, and Lt. Edward J. Walsh, who were killed Wednesday, March 26, 2014, when trapped the basement while fighting a fire in an apartment building in Boston. Kennedy, 33, a Marine Corps combat veteran was assigned to Ladder 15, and had been a firefighter for more than six years. Walsh, 43, and a father of three, was assigned to Engine 33, and had been a firefighter for almost a decade. (AP Photo/Boston Fire Department)
Michael R. Kennedy (left) and Lt. Edward J. Walsh Jr.

“Last Wednesday was a tough day for the brothers and sisters of the Boston Fire Department,” said Richard Paris, the president of the Boston Firefighters Local 718. “We lost two brave firefighters.”

Donations to the fund can be made at

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A vigil will take place this evening at the Centre Street fire station, followed by a prayer service at Holy Name church, The Boston Globe reports.

The deadly fire broke out in a brownstone at 298 Beacon Street in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood on Wednesday afternoon. Firefighters faced high winds as they battled the fire. Thirteen other firefighters were taken to the hospital for injuries.

“I watched the brave men and women of our fire department go into that building and retrieve their own, and since that time I’ve watch the entire fire department come together,” Walsh said, before urging residents to donate to the fund.

Earlier this afternoon, the firefighters were honored at a flag raising ceremony at City Hall.

On Friday evening, the Boston Fire Department tweeted information about funeral arrangements for both men:

Both firefighters were assigned to Engine 33, Ladder 15 on Boylston Street. Walsh had more than nine years of experience and was married with two boys and one girl, all under the age of 10.

Kennedy had more than six years of experience and was a Marine Corps veteran. Though he was unmarried, Kennedy served as a big brother to a 14-year-old boy for six years and was a “father figure,” Paris said.

Officials are still investigating the cause of the massive blaze. There were eight apartment units in the building and investigators believe it may have started in the basement and escalated because of the high winds.

Five ways to help the families of the fallen firefighters.