Deputies criticize Boston fire chief’s marathon response

13 deputy fire chiefs say they have no confidence in Boston Fire Chief Steve Abraira. Credit: Google images
Thirteen deputy fire chiefs say they have no confidence in Boston Fire Chief Steve Abraira. Credit: Google images

Boston Fire Chief Steve Abraira demonstrated a lack of leadership in the immediate aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, according to 13 deputy fire chiefs.

In a letter to Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, obtained by the Boston Globe, the fire officials strongly criticized what they called Abraira’s “inactions” after two explosive devices detonated near the marathon finish line, killing three people and wounding 264 others.

“His justification for failing to take action is indefensible,” the April 26 letter said, pointing out that Boylston Street was still an active scene when Abraira arrived, with the possibility of more explosions.

“You can unequivocally consider this letter a vote of no confidence in Chief Abraira,” the deputy chiefs wrote.

The deputies said the April 15 blasts were just the latest incident where Abraira failed to take command, saying the chief “shields himself from immediate accountability while setting the stage for under­mining the confidence and authority of his command staff. While acknowledging his ultimate accountability for depart­ment operations, he avoids on-the-scene responsibility.”

In a phone interview with the Globe, Abraira said he acted appropriately after the bombings, since fire personnel had the situation under control.

“When I got there I was comfortable with what was going on,” he said. “The nationally accepted practice is that you only take command [as chief] if there’s something going wrong or if you can strengthen the command position or if it’s overwhelming for the incident commander, and none of those things were in fact happening.”

Fire Commissioner Roderick Fraser told the Globe he has “the utmost confidence in my entire staff, my entire command staff, including Chief Abraira,” but would not discuss the letter on the ­record.

Menino’s spokeswoman, Dot Joyce, would not discuss the letter except to say that the mayor has “full confidence in Commissioner [Roderick] Fraser to do what’s best for the department, including [in] his own personnel decisions.”

Abraira was appointed to lead the Boston Fire Department in 2011 after serving as fire chief in Dallas and as an assistant chief in Miami.

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBos



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 7,…

Drunk girls and ghost brownies: here’s your weekly ‘Pretty Little Liars’ recap by way of Q&A. Q: do they really not check for feet under…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.