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The following NFPA statistics are for the years 1993-2012 and are for structure fires only.

Of the 488 firefighters killed at structure fires, there were:

    • 354 single-fatality fires

    • 44 two-fatality fires

    • 9 three-fatality fires

    • 1 four-fatality fire

    • 1 six-fatality fire

    • 1 ninefatality fire

 Of the fires where firefighters were killed while operating inside, there were:

    1. 171 single-fatality

    2. 37 two-fatality

    3. 8 three-fatality

    4. 1 four-fatality

    5. 1 six-fatality

    6. 1 nine-fatality

Source: NFPA&#39;s Fire Incident Data Organization</div>

The fire that killed two Boston firefighters on March 26 occurred in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood, which runs parallel to the Charles River. Following are photographs taken by Sara Bosshart, from her vantage point just across the river in Cambridge, MA.

Boston fire 1 Bosshart

Boston fire 4 Bosshart

Boston fire 3 Bosshart

Photos: Courtesy of Sara Bosshart

A dramatic video from, posted on, captures the fire explosion at the four-story brownstone building in Boston on March 26. "There was some kind of extraordinary event that happened in the basement," Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald is quoted is saying on The fire killed Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh Jr. and Michael R. Kennedy. reports the firefighters sent out a mayday call from the basement of the building, indicating they may have been trapped.

The Boston Fire Department is on the scene of yesterday's deadly blaze in the city's Back Bay neighborhood that killed two on-duty firefighters and injured several others.

An article on quotes Boston Fire Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Finn saying that the fast-moving fire may have started in the basement. Firefighters also battled against strong winds which made conditions more difficult.

Related: A 2010 Fire Protection Research Foundation report looked at building ventilation or presence of an external wind during a fire situation that could increase the energy release of a fire and/or the spread of fire gases through a building. Download a free copy of the "Fire Fighting Tactics Under Wind Driven Conditions" report.

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Firefighter Michael R. Kennedy (left) and Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh (right) were killed in Boston on Wednesday. Photo:

Two firefighters who died in a Boston townhouse blaze on Wednesday are being hailed as heroes. Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh and Firefighter Michael R. Kennedy were among the crews fighting a fire in a four-story townhouse in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood.

“In 30 years I’ve never seen a fire travel that fast, escalate that quickly, and create such havoc in such a short period of time,” Boston Deputy Chief Joseph Finn tells The Boston Herald. “The wind was blowing in off the Charles (River), it drove the fire and combustibles and everything with it to the front of the building where two members of Engine 33 were assigned trying to make headway on the fire.”


Related: NFPA's "Firefighter Fatalities in the United States" report.

[The Boston Herald |] reports that the firefighters issued a mayday call just minutes after they rushed into the building's basement. Deputy Chief Finn said he believes a window in the front of the building shattered and the wind pushed the fire toward them.

In 1972, Boston experienced its worst firefighter loss just a few blocks from yesterday's fatal blaze. The Hotel Vendome fire killed nine Boston firefighters; a memorial near the site of that fire commemorates the loss.


Yesterday's tragic loss of two on-duty firefighters in Boston brings to mind other fires and disasters that have occurred in Boston.

In 2011, NFPA Journal® featured an article "Boston Fire Trail" in which author/historian Stephanie Schorow provided a walking tour of the city's major fires and disasters, including the Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire, the molasses flood of 1915, the 1872 Great Fire of Boston, and the Hotel Vendome blaze that killed nine firefighters.

"Celebrated and much imitated, the Freedom Trail winds through Boston marking highlights of the American Revolution, ranging from Paul Revere’s home to the Battle of Bunker Hill," wrote Ms. Schorow. "An unmarked trail, more somber but no less significant, also winds through Boston, a city that has seen more than its share of major fires and disasters." Read the full article.

Video: Author/historian Stephanie Schorow presents three infamous fires that took place in the city of Boston: The Great Boston Fire of 1872, the 1942 Cocoanut Grove Fire, and the collapse of the Hotel Vendome in 1972.

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