According to a new report, the Boston Fire Department shares in the blame for two firefighters’ deaths in 2014 as they tried to extinguish a nine-alarm Back Bay fire.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health released a report on Thursday stating that the deaths of Lt. Ed Walsh and firefighter Michael Kennedy resulted in part from lack of training, inadequate staffing and a failure to assess risks at the scene, WCVB has reported.
The report specified that a lack of training with regards to wind-swept fires contributed to the tragedy, CBS added.
“The wind and the fact that this fire was undetectable for some time are two key contributing factors to this fire,” Boston Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn was quoted by WCVB. “People were literally blown off their feet.”
The report also pointed to the absence of nearby fire hydrants and building sprinklers as contributing to the incident, and it called for better training for wind-driven scenarios and verifying that there is adequate staffing for fighting fires in densely populated areas, according to CBS.
Michael Kennedy’s mother, Kathy Crosby-Bell, was quoted by WCVB: “In my opinion, the long history of inadequate funding by the previous administration to the fire department played a role in this tragedy."