Boston Fire Chief Steve Abraira steps down amid criticisms over bombings

Boston Fire Chief Steve Abraira stepping down. File photo.
Boston Fire Chief Steve Abraira stepping down. File photo.

Embattled Boston Fire Chief Steve Abraira is stepping down, officials said today, with a resignation effective Friday.

Abraira, who has served as chief for less than two years, faced scrutiny in the wake of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings, as some deputy chiefs believed he did not adequately take command of the chaotic Boylston Street scene as well as at other major fires.

According to his resignation letter sent on Monday, those criticisms compelled him to step down.

Abraira said he followed “nationally accepted practice” in allowing his deputies to continue to direct the response.

“The baseless attacks by the Deputy Chiefs, especially their actions of making this a matter of public debate by leaking their letter of April 26th to the press, has made it impossible for me to continue to do my job,” Abraira said in the letter.

The Boston Fire Department announced the news on Twitter around noon, and said the department’s chief of operations will handle Abraira’s duties in the interim.

“We wish Chief Abraira well in his future endeavors and thank him for his service to the people of Boston,” Boston Fire Department Spokesman Steve MacDonald said in a statement. “Chief of Operations John Hasson has been appointed by Commissioner Roderick Fraser to be the acting Chief of Department. Chief Hasson is a 40 year veteran with the department and has currently is in charge of the day to day operations in the field.”

Abraira, who served in Dallas before his appointment as Boston Fire Chief in 2011, said he never felt that he had full support of the department, which has typically been led by chiefs selected from within its ranks.

Mayor Thomas Menino’s office confirmed it had received the resignation letter but said it had no immediate comment.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: Lesbians, men most likely…

Lesbians, men most likely to achieve orgasm Location: U.S. Study subjects: 2,850 people Results: Whether you find it shocking or not, a new study reports that…

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.