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Boston Fire Related News, Photos and Videos


Added on: June 25, 2013

JFK Library Fire - April 15, 2013 - Marathon Monday

During the Boston Marathon attacks an explosion at the JFK Library occurred.  Companies where initially dispatched to a central station alarm however Fire Alarm "struck the box" while Engine 21 and Ladder 18 were enroute.  Responding apparatus included: 3 engines, 2 ladders, 1 tower ladder, District 6, Rescue 2, one RIT engine, one RIT ladder, one RIT chief and the Rehab Unit. 

Since the JFK Library is a landmark and very well-known, initial reports were that this might also be related to the Marathon bombings.  However, the incident was eventually deemed to be accidental.

The three short videos below show the conditions that the arriving companies encountered. 




June 17, 2013

41st Anniversary of the Hotel Vendome Collapse

Where Nine Boston Firefighters Perished

41 years ago today, nine Boston Firefighters made the ultimate sacrafice at the Hotel Vendome.  The fire location was 170 Commonwealth Ave, 4 alarms for Box 1571 (Dartmouth & Newbury).  


The nine members died when a rear portion of the Hotel Vendome, which was under renovation collapsed without warning.  The fire had been knocked down and firefighters were overhauling.  Several other members were also injured.  It took 10 hours to remove all the firefighters.  The Maxim ladder truck of Ladder Co. 15 was also extensively damaged. 

Here are some memorials that have come up for these men over the years.  Thanks to Bill Noonan, (BFD, retired) for sharing. 








June 9, 2013

Working today and detailed to Harrison Ave. in the South End.  This firehouse is home to Engine 3 and the Special Unit (lighting plant).  The firehouse was built in the 40's and at one time also housed the Aerial Tower (and Ladder 3).  During the 60's, 70's, and 80's the South End consisted of vacant brownstones, housing projects and warehouses.  Due to building construction and narrow streets it's a very complex area to have a fire. 

2003 Pierce Enforcer 1250/500/CAFS

1992 Ford/E-One Lighting/Special Unit

Stairwell down to the main floor

Patrol desk with control board

Patrol desk wall with bell and tapper


March 17, 2013

South Boston celebrated another St. Patrick's Day with it's internationally known parade.  Every year Boston Fire apparatus and firefighters from all over the world participate in this legendary event. 

Below are some pictures taken from some friends that I think everyone will enjoy. 

The next 12 photos are courtesy of local Boston fire buff Andrew Size:

The last four photos were taken by visiting

Oklahoma City Firefighter Justin Howard:


February 19, 2013

This is the home of Engine 37, Ladder 26 and formerly District 5 (disbanded a few years ago).   The firehouse was built in the 1930's and is one of the busiest in the city with companies averaging over 4,000 runs annually. 

Nicknamed the "Huntington Ave. Express" the district these companies cover is one of the most diverse in the city.  It includes "3-deckas", brownstones, housing projects, high-rises, college dorms, hospitals, helicopter landing pads, and a few miles of the Green Line trolley as well.  In addition these companies are first due to the Yawkey Way side of Fenway Park. 

Many members of our Departments Command Staff spent time at Huntington Ave. while traveling up through the ranks. 

Four members of Huntington Ave., have made the ultimate sacrifice, the most recent being FLT. Kevin Kelley, who was killed in the line-of-duty on January 9, 2009.  In addition, FF. Richard Sheridan of L-16, was detailed into L-26 in 1976, and killed as a result of a building collapse.  May we never forget their sacrifices.


February 12, 2013

The Noreaster storm that hit Boston over the weekend of February 8th was one of the largest snow storms in recent history dumping over 25 inches of snow on the city. 

During this time the BFD answered hundreds of calls for assistance, in addition to having four multiple alarm fires consisting of: three, 2 alarm jobs and one, 3 alarm. 

Below are a bunch of pictures that were given to me from guys that were on duty. 



2nd Alarm - Box 16-1344, Whittier Place Condminiums, fire was in the basement of an occupied high-rise building

Ladder 1's crew after the 2nd alarm

Engine 8's crew after the 2nd alarm

Engine 8's feeder line at the 2nd alarm

Engine 8 and Ladder 1's quarters (the North End) on Saturday morning

Engine 4, Ladder 24 and District 4's quarters on Saturday morning

Dudley Street: home to Engine 14, Ladder 4 and H1 (Safety Chief) on Saturday morning

3rd Alarm - 49 Mather St., Box 3311

Pictures below courtesy of

Ladder 4's crew after the 3rd alarm.  A few hours later they would be the first due truck to 2 alarms at Box 2297 for 5 Cobden St.


Added: 2/6/13

District 1: East Boston

District 1, located in Division 1 protects the East Boston neighborhood.  There are three firehouses, consisting of three engine companies, two ladder companies and one District Chief.  Eastie, as it's called is densely filled with three-deckers, tenements, taxpayers, housing projects and the waterfront.  Residents tend to be a combination of immigrants, first-generation Americans, and Italian families.  Eastie is also home to Logan International Airport, which is protected by the Massachusetts Port Authority Fire Rescue.

Engine 9 and Ladder 2 are located at 239 Sumner Street, outside of Maverick Square.  The firehouse is relatively new having been built in 1976.  H5, a mobile decontamination unit, is also housed at this location.  Both companies are home guard which means they rarely leave District 1. 

Source: Wikipedia

Photo above sourced from Wikipedia


Engine 5 and District 1 are located at 360 Saratoga Street.  The firehouse was built arround 1880 and still has many of its original features.  Because of its proximity to Logan Airport and mutiple tank farms, Engine 5 is foam-equipped.  Engine 5 responds to other cities including Chelsea and Everett on multiple alarm fires.


Engine 56 and Ladder 21 are located at 1 Ashley Street, in the Orient Heights neighborhood. Built in 1950, this firehouse was initially constructed for a single-company.  Engine 56 responds to Revere, Lynn and Winthrop on mutliple alarm fires.  Ladder 21 responds to Chelsea, Everett and Revere on multiple alarms.  

Firehouse above sourced fromWikipedia

Below are a You Tube video and photos of a 7-alarm fire in Eastie last April.  The fire was located at 324 Chelsea Street.  All photos are  courtesy of Steve Walsh, 


32 Year's: Remembering Lt. Paul Lentini and FF James Gibbons

Box1539, 8 Alarms

January 5, 1981

Today, we remember the sacrifices of FLT. Paul Lentini and FF Jameson Gibbons, of Engine Co. 37.  Both perished in a collapse while operating at Box  8-1539, for 16-17 Arlington St., in District 4.  Two great guys - a tremendous loss to the BFD. 

We're blessed to have two of their sons in the fire service today.  Lt. Lentini's son serves on the Quincy Fire Department (an adjacent city to Boston) and FF Gibbons son (a close friend of mind = who is a fantastic guy and father) is a Lieutenant on the BFD. 


Please take a second today to remember these men. 



Boston Fire Tower Ladder 3 Responding

(updated 8-4-12)

Here's a video of Tower Ladder 3 responding to an alarm.  Notice the skill of the chauffeur during rush hour traffic in narrow streets.  Great job!


Hotel Vendome 40th Anniversary

(updated 6-14-12)



Sunday, June 17th marks the 40th anniversary of the Hotel Vendome Fire in Boston where nine firemen tragically lost their lives.  We were fortunate to get some pictures that have not been widely circulated from FLT Glen Martin, Engine 4 (formerly Ladder 15 whose father was on Ladder 15 at the time) in addition to the General Order from the Commissioner of the BFD.  Please take a moment on Sunday to remember these brave souls.

The ladder truck buried in the debris is Ladder 15, which was first due to the four alarm fire.  Of the nine firemen killed several of their family members are serving the Department today. 







Boston Fire Department

Annual Awards Presentation and Ball

(updated 6-12-12)

The Boston Fire Department held its 118th Annual Awards Presentation and Ball on May 18th.  Several members were given various medals for meritorious actions.  A sample of which are listed below.  Congratulations to all who received awards.  These members truly exemplify the pride and honor of being a part of the Boston Fire Department.  


Boston Fire Department's Newest Pumpers

2012 KME's

1,250 GPM Waterous Pump

750 gallon tank

Boston Fire has ordered and soon will take delivery of three KME pumps.  These are believed to be assigned to Engine 7 (District 4), Engine 52 and Engine 53 (both in District 12).  Delivery is anticipated to be months end with a few weeks of training prior to putting the apparatus into service. 













Various Pictures From Fort Hill Square

Engine Co. 10, Tower Ladder 3 & Rescue Co.1

(added 4-26-12)


We recently had some firefighters from the U.K. stop by and take pictures at the firehouse.  Jonathan Search, of Gloucesetershire was kind enough to let us use some of the images.  Many thanks Jonathan and hope to see you soon. 














Brighton Box 2-5124

(added 1/25/12)


Here's a picture of the 2 alarm fire on Sunday, January 22nd.  The box was struck at 0712, for 84 Linden St.  Engine 41 and Ladder 14 were first due.  At 0714, Lt. Feeney, Engine 41, struck the 2nd alarm on arrival.  Seven civilians were transported to the hospital including two that jumped from the third floor.  Aggressive efforts from the BFD prevented the fire from reaching occupied exposures.




Tech Rescue Training at Moon Island

(added 11/13/11)


Engine 10, Tower Ladder 3, Rescue 1 and District 6 recently completed a day of tech rescue training at Moon Island.  There were three stations all of which involved breaking, breaching or lifting. 


Station 1: Breaching

Consisted of using concrete saws, jack hammers, and other tools to simulate entry into an area fortified by concrete and rebar. 







Station 2: Cutting and Torch work

Utilized the petro gen torch, plasma cutter and band saw to cut through various types of metals and steel. 







Station 3: Lifting

Using pipes, pry bars and 4X4 lumber we moved a 1,600lb. concrete block approximately 30ft.  Following this members utilized the Bi-Pod Paratech System to lift the block and move it further. 







New Fireboats for Massport and Boston

(added 11/1/11)


Here are some shots of the new Massport Fireboat at Logan International Airport.  It was placed into service in October 2011 and built by A.F. Theriault & Son’s in Nova Scotia.  She is 80’ and rated to pump in excess of 6,000.  I apologize for the quality of the pictures but as you can see the weather was not cooperative that morning. 


Conducting a playout for a visting ship from the Norwegian Coast Guard. 


Norwegian Coast Guard Ship




Boston's new fireboat is the "John S. Damrell".  She is approximately 70' and was built by Metalcraft Marine of Kingston, Ontario.  Capable of pumping 12,000 gpm's, and a top speed of 40 knots.  Furthermore this boat is designed to operate in environments contaiminated by biological or chemical agents. 


Members are still training on the Damrell so she has not yet been put into service. 


FYI - John S. Damrell was the Chief Engineer of the BFD and in charge at Boston’s Great Fire of 1872.  Later he became Boston’s first Inspector of Buildings during the 1880’s.







Ladder 1 Testing the Aerial

(added 10-27-11) 


Engine 8 and Ladder 1 are quartered in the North End of Boston.  The North End is a very dense and congested part of the city.  Most of the streets are narrow and considered to be old “cow paths”.  As a result when members are performing daily maintenance duties on the apparatus they must pull Ladder 1 out of quarters and park on the opposite side of Hanover Street.  Generally, most firehouses in Boston have ramps in front of the firehouse which allow enough space for the aerial and jacks to be set.  Here are some shots of members checking the piece over. 











Boston Fire & EMS Staging During Occupy Boston

(added 10/17/11)


As a result of the participants from Occupy Boston taking over an additional part of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston Police escorted and subsequently arrested some 150 protestors.  This occurred at approximately 0130 on October 4th.  Coincidentally, the protestors were one block away from the quarters of Engine 10, Tower Ladder 3, Rescue 1 and Division 1.  In addition, the quarters of Boston EMS units P1 and A1 are located next door.  Although the resources of the fire department and EMS were not utilized here are some photos of the firehouse and EMS apparatus staging. 





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Box 71 for 27 Melcher Street and 6 Necco Court

September 19, 2011

3 alarms

(added 9/27/11)


This was a unique 3 alarm fire that we caught last Monday night that happened to be down the street from the firehouse.  Box 71 was struck at 2250 for 27 Melcher Street.  While en-route, Fire Alarm advised companies that they were receiving calls.  Upon arrival from the front of 27 Melcher the fire appeared to be on the roof.  Once we reached the roof we found that the fire was actually in the rear in a skywalk that connected two six story buildings.  The skywalk, which was four stories connected 27 Melcher Street and 6 Necco Court.  Both buildings were old warehouses.  27 Melcher Street had been converted to offices and 6 Necco Court was vacant.  We found heavy fire conditions on the top floor of the skywalk. 


To access the fire directly companies had to reach the top floors of both buildings.  At 27 Melcher Street the door to the skywalk had been sealed over with drywall and metal studs.  After removing these obstructions we encountered a steel door which needed to be forced open as well.  Only after this was accomplished could we hit
some of the pockets of fire that were not accessible from the roof and windows. 


Companies also checked the fifth floor where they found slight extension and the floors below as well.






Boston Fire

Engine 10, Tower Ladder 3, Rescue 1 and District 6

Advanced R.I.T. training

(added 9/14/11)


Tech rescue companies just completed an advanced R.I.T. course at the Moon Island Fire Academy.  The course scenarios were all under live fire conditions.  One segment simulated a floor collapse with a firefighter trapped below.  Members were challenged to get below grade and lift the debris off of the injured jake.


Participants ranged from FFOP's with less than one year on the job to 36 year veterans.  The lessons were invaluable and I pray we'll never have to use them in the field. 


Window Bailouts









Search and Rescue








Boston Fire 

Rescue 1 

2007 Pierce Quantum

(added 8-25-11)


Here are some shots of Rescue 1 and how the various compartments are utilized.


The Rescue carries an extensive amount of extrication tools, air bags, water rescue suits, torches, saws, jacks, and a variety of other types of conventional firefighting equipment.  




High pressure air bags, elevator kit            












Boston Fire Quarters of

Engine 10, Tower Ladder 3 and Division 1

"The Big House"

(added 8-22-11)


I took these shots a few weeks ago.  As I was getting out of work the members were beginning their apparatus checks for the day. 


Our firehouse is located in District 6 and is the quarters of Division 1.  The Rescue responds to all struck boxes in Division 1.  Tower Ladder 3 responds to all multiple alarm fires in Division 1.  All three companies are trained in technical rescue and respond to such incidents in Division 1. 


Our still district includes commercial and residential high-rises, apartment buildings, all types of MBTA lines, major tunnels, piers, the Financial District, parts of Chinatown, the North End, Beacon Hill, South Boston and Boston Harbor. 


The Big House





Boston Fire Quarters of Engine 4, Ladder 24 and District 3 (added 8-10-11) 


I was detailed to Ladder 24 a few Monday's ago and took these shots while the apparatus was undergoing morning checks.  At the time Engine 4 was using a spare piece.  Ladder 24 is a 2010 E-One, 110' RMA.  I'm unsure of the age of Car 3. 


This firehouse covers Beacon Hill, parts of the Finanical District, North End, and Back Bay.  There are many high-rise commercial and residential buildings along with brownstones and what we used to call tenements.  Notable locations within their first alarm district include: Massachusetts General Hospital, TD Bank Garden (home of the Boston Bruins and Celtics), and Suffolk University.  In addition Storrow Drive, the Esplanade along the Charles River, and several "T" stops are within the response area. 


Firehouse of Engine 4, Ladder 24 and District 3



Boston Fire Apparatus Slide-Show (added 8-2-11)


The video slide-show below was created by my close friend and up-and-coming fire photographer Dan MacAuley.  Dan’s been chasing fires for years with his father, Pat MacAuley, who retired from the BFD in 2008 after 39 years on the job.  He's got a great eye for photography.


Dan currently serves in the United States Coast Guard, assigned to Nantucket, where he is a member of the local fire department.  Upon completion of his duties, Dan aspires to become a member of the Boston Fire Department.  We look forward to having him!








Retired 42 Year BFD Vet Visits L-1 (added 7-27-11)


I was detailed to L-1 in the North End on the evening of July 15th.  A few hours before dinner an older gentlemen and his son came in to say hello.  The man was Jim McKernan, who had retired from the BFD in 1990 after 42 years of service.  He "came on the job" in 1948, after serving in the South Pacific with the U.S. Navy.  Mr. McKernan, now 85, spent 38 years on L-1, before going to Headquarters for two years, and finishing his final two years at the Fire Brigade.  


He hadn't visited the firehouse he loves so much in 5 years.  For 85, he was sharp as a tack.  In fact, given that this is not my normal firehouse (I'm assigned to Tower Ladder 3) I wasn't sure of all of the streets in their still district.  However, as tourists came by asking for directions Mr. McKernan was able assist them with ease.  


Needless to say, I was impressed.  I thought it would be great if I could get a few pictures of him next to L-1, which is a 2010, E-One, 110' RMA.


Once again, my hat’s off to “the greatest generation”!










Boston Fire Academy Photo's  (added 7-25-11)


Below are two pictures of the burn building at the Boston Fire Academy.  Upon being hired into the Department all recruits must spend appoximately 14 weeks in what we call "Drill School".  After successful completion the graduates become Firefighters-On-Probation (FFOP's) for a period of 12 months.


The $4.6 burn building was built in 2008.  It's designed to simulate a few different styles of buildings commonly seen in Boston.  The six story tower represents a high-rise building and is equipped with standpipes and an elevator shaft.  The other two parts of the building simulate a three-decker (three story wood frames) and a peaked roof 2 1/2 story wood-frame. 


In addition we also do high-angle and technical rescue training within the facility.  Feel free to email me with questions anytime:    


  Boston Fire Academy Burn Building








BOSTON FIREFIGHTERS PART 3 (added 1.10.2011)
contributed to youtube by Boston Fire Gear



BOSTON FIREFIGHTERS PART 1 - click to watch it
contributed to youtube by Boston Fire Gear


BOSTON FIREFIGHTERS PART 2 - click to watch it
contributed to youtube by Boston Fire Gear