Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 20

Thread: Mass. Firefighter Missing, Killed in Farmhouse Fire

  1. #1
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    South West
    Posts
    3,296

    Mass. Firefighter Missing, Killed in Farmhouse Fire

    Updated: 11-29-2003 12:03:30 PM

    Reports: Mass. Firefighter Missing, Killed in Farmhouse Fire


    Firehouse.com News


    A Massachusetts firefighter was reportedly killed this morning after becoming trapped in the basement of a farmhouse fire, the Associated Press and broadcast outlets said.

    Firefighters were on the scene of the blaze early Saturday and found heavy fire in the basement, eventually evacuating the structure when it became too intense.

    As crews were doing accountability outside, one firefighter was missing. Firefighters went back inside as part of rapid interevention efforts, but were only able to locate his helmet, the AP reported.

    His body was found later in the morning after the fire was under control.

    Firehouse.com will have further details on this incident as they become available.

    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...Id=39&id=22508

  2. #2
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    South West
    Posts
    3,296

    Firefighter killed in Lancaster blaze

    Saturday, November 29, 2003

    Firefighter killed in Lancaster blaze

    Mike Elfland
    T&G STAFF


    LANCASTER- A 31-year old call firefighter was killed in an early morning blaze on Mill Street today.

    Fire officials identified the firefighter as Martin McNamara, a Clinton resident and 3-year member of the Lancaster Fire Department. The firefighter died when he was among a crew trying to knock down heavy flames in the basement of the two and-a-half-story house at 76 Mill St.

    Firefighter McNamara was married with two children. His wife is due to deliver a third child soon.

    Soon after firefighters arrived at the burning house, an explosion prompted supervisors to order firefighters out of the building. Minutes later a head count of the firefighters revealed one was missing. After the flames were knocked down, crews went into the building and discovered their fallen colleague.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    State Fire Marshal Steven Coan said this morning that the cause of the fire was unclear. A second explosion, the one that prompted the evacuation, may have been caused by a natural gas leak said the fire marshal.

    Three firefighters were injured in the blaze, one of them seriously. That firefighter, from the Clinton Fire Department, was being treated at UMass Medical Center

  3. #3
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    South West
    Posts
    3,296

    Firefighter Killed In Lancaster Fire

    An early-morning house fire in Lancaster, Mass., turns tragic Saturday as a firefighter dies after he was unable to escape from the basement. Martin McNamara, a three-year veteran of the force, leaves behind a pregnant wife and two children. NECN's Robert Goulston reports. (11/29/03 5:10 p.m.) Watch video

    http://www.mirror-image.com/necn/bos...ancaster_5p.rm

  4. #4
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    South West
    Posts
    3,296

    Lancaster firefighter dies in fire

    Sunday, November 30, 2003

    Lancaster firefighter dies in fire


    Basement is deathtrap

    By Mike Elfland
    T&G STAFF

    LANCASTER- A 31-year-old call firefighter, a father of two whose pregnant wife is due to give birth any day, was killed early yesterday after rushing into the burning basement of a Mill Street apartment house.

    Martin H. McNamara V, perhaps the best known of the many "Macs" in the extended McNamara family of Clinton, was among the first firefighters to arrive at the house after the call came in about 3:30 a.m. Firefighter McNamara was a call, or part-time, firefighter on the Lancaster Fire Department.

    Firefighters from Clinton and several surrounding communities helped Lancaster battle the blaze.

    A second firefighter, Clinton Deputy Fire Chief John E. McLaughlin, remained hospitalized last night with injuries he suffered while with Firefighter McNamara in the basement of the 2

  5. #5
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    South West
    Posts
    3,296

    Firefighter falls in inferno

    Firefighter falls in inferno
    By Laurel J. Sweet
    Sunday, November 30, 2003

    LANCASTER - A doomed jake's panic alarm chirping from the fiery core of a concrete hell was enough to convince Clinton Deputy Fire Chief John McLaughlin to disregard the empty oxygen tank strapped to his back.

    Tempting suffocation in heat and smoke beneath a three-story wooden apartment house threatening to crush him, McLaughlin, 45 - a divorced father of two teens - fumbled in vain for Lancaster call firefighter Martin H. McNamara. Finally, beckoned to fresh air by brethren who could not bear to lose a second life, a near-dead ``John Boy'' McLaughlin had to be physically restrained on the ground where he collapsed.

    ``He was fighting them so much'' to go back in, said Clinton Fire Capt. John McNamara, whose fallen cousin, Martin, became the first Lancaster firefighter killed in the line of duty in the town's 350-year history.

    ``They could hear (Martin McNamara's) PASS device,'' John McNamara said of the body motion detector that sounds when a firefighter is down, ``but they couldn't get to him. They just couldn't. From what I hear, the basement was overloaded with storage. Everything lit up and came crashing down.''

    McLaughlin, who suffered smoke inhalation and exhaustion, remained hospitalized and sedated last night in serious condition.

    Two other Clinton firefighters who'd been in the cellar, Terry Parker, 44, and Edward McNamara, 49, no relation to the deceased, escaped the early morning inferno that gutted a seven-family residence at 76 Mill St. and fortified the uncommon bond between two neighboring Central Massachusetts towns whose combined populations barely approach 20,000.

    Flags were lowered to half-staff in both communities.

    Martin McNamara, who shared a modest, charming home in Clinton minutes from the deadly blaze with his pregnant wife, Claire, and two daughters, ages 2 and 5, lived to see his 31st birthday Friday, but was waiting to celebrate the birth of his third child, due to arrive today.

    Martin McNamara was a three-year veteran and one of 33 Lancaster call firefighters. ``A firefighter was all he ever wanted to be,'' John McNamara said.

    Claire McNamara, a nail beautician who'd lovingly decorated their Maple Street home for Christmas, was in seclusion yesterday at the Clinton home of her husband's parents, Martin, a manager for Weetabix Cereal and former Clinton selectman, and Joanne McNamara, a nurse at Clinton Hospital.

    ``Obviously, we're devastated by the tragedy,'' a visibly shell-shocked Martin McNamara told reporters outside the house where his son perished. ``If there's any consolation we can take from this, it's that he died doing something he loved.''

    While the cause of the wind-fed catastrophe remained undetermined last night, state Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said authorities were investigating reports of a ``series of explosions'' occurring shortly after 3:15 a.m.

    The white, gold and black dwelling had gas heat, according to residents and neighbors, but Coan cautioned there was no immediate reason to think gas was to blame.

    ``The initial report was for smoke in the basement with fire stretching to the first floor,'' Coan said. ``There was some kind of internal explosion that caused the fire to rapidly spread and there were reports of blue flame. The conditions turned very, very bad.''

    Martin McNamara, he said, ``just succumbed to the heat and fire conditions and the disorientation that occurs in a situation like that.''

    Ironically, disorientation and being woken from a sound sleep is what Lamont Plowden, 26, a private high school history teacher, credits with saving his life.

    Plowden, standing 6 feet, 5 inches tall in borrowed clothes and cradling a box of Nature Valley granola bars, said he was awakened by ``a boom'' that shook his bed.

    Opening his apartment door and seeing the coast to the stairwell was clear, he ran back to his bed to grab his nylon Ralph Lauren Polo winter jacket. But during the estimated 15 seconds that elapsed, smoke blocked his escape and began seeping through the walls. Plowden ran to a fire escape and got out unharmed along with his fellow tenants.

    The first time he saw flames, he said, they were a reflection in the windows of the house next door.

    ``I'm alive,'' he said, staring back at his former home with a bittersweet smile. ``Everything else that got burned, I'll get by.''

    John McNamara said, true to form, his late cousin was suited up and ready for action outside 76 Mill St. when Clinton firefighters arrived on scene. And when McLaughlin, Edward McNamara and Parker ran headlong into the burning basement with a hose, ``Marty'' McNamara picked up the slack and tagged behind.

    But once down below, ``They knew they were in trouble,'' John McNamara said. ``(McLaughlin) yelled, `Everybody out!' but the conditions deteriorated so fast that they got broken up.''

    John McNamara said the men ``were seconds from death'' and McLaughlin, separated from the others, had made his way to the wrong staircase.

    ``Ed McNamara was screaming, `John Boy, we're over here!' '' he said, wiping away tears. ``Right now we're just hoping he makes it.''

    http://news.bostonherald.com/localRe...?articleid=179

    PHOTO BELOW
    Lancaster firefighter Martin McNamara died battling this fire.
    (Staff photo by John Wilcox)

  6. #6
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    South West
    Posts
    3,296

    Family consoled at fire

    Monday, December 1, 2003

    Family consoled at fire

    McNamara's wife asked for prayers

    By Karen Nugent and Craig S. Semon
    T&G STAFF


    LANCASTER- When the Rev. Kenneth R. Cardinale of St. John the Evangelist Church in Clinton got an early morning wakeup call Saturday, he had no idea it was for a fallen firefighter, let alone one of his parishioners.

    "They told me that there was a major house fire in Lancaster. We need a priest on the scene right away. I got there. I saw the house burning," Rev. Cardinale recalled. "I thought I was going to be administering to people who lived there. I didn't think it was going to be a firefighter."

    When Rev. Cardinale saw Claire McNamara, whom he recognized as one of his parishioners, wrapped in a blanket, he started piecing things together. Her husband, Lancaster firefighter Martin H."Marty" McNamara V, was dead.

    "They called me because they couldn't get ahold of the Lancaster Fire Department chaplain," Rev. Cardinale said. "So what seemed to be serendipity ended up being providential because, as her priest, I was able to be there for her and her family."

    Firefighter McNamara died in the cellar of the burning house at 76 Mill St. The residents of the house escaped unharmed, but three other firefighters were injured, one seriously.

    The condition of Clinton Deputy Chief John E. McLaughlin, who nearly perished in the fire trying to rescue Firefighter McNamara, is improving.

    "He's been upgraded, and he's off the ventilator," said Martin E. Gannon, a Clinton firefighter.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Deputy Chief McLaughlin, the father of two teenagers, remains in the intensive care unit at UMass Memorial Medical Center - University Campus, Worcester, suffering from severe smoke inhalation.

    Firefighter Gannon said his condition has been upgraded to stable. Deputy Chief McLaughlin, known to most as "John Boy," was initially listed in critical condition.

    Walter M. McNamara, a cousin of fallen firefighter McNamara, and a retired Clinton firefighter, said he visited Deputy Chief McLaughlin Saturday "for about 30 seconds."

    "We could go in three at a time only. His two kids were there, and his sister Mim. A nurse told me that the first 48 hours are critical," Walter McNamara said.

    Deputy Chief McLaughlin and firefighters Terry Parker and Edward McNamara, no relation to the deceased, rushed into the blazing cellar Saturday seeking Firefighter McNamara. Firefighters Parker and Edward McNamara momentarily lost track of the deputy chief, who had become disoriented in the smoke. They were unable to find Firefighter McNamara, the father of two young children, whose wife was due anytime with their third child.

    At the last possible minute, Deputy Chief McLaughlin was pulled from the house, still struggling to go back in and rescue Firefighter McNamara. He was given CPR at the scene by fellow firefighters.

    Firefighters Parker and Edward McNamara were treated for heat exhaustion, and released.

    Roger P. Hart, the retired Lancaster fire chief, said it is very easy to get confused and disoriented in thick smoke.

    "You lose all sense of direction. That's why you don't go in without a buddy - which I guess they did, but I heard they lost the hose," he said.

    Not only did Rev. Cardinale deliver Mr. McNamara's final commendation, but he will be delivering the homily at his funeral tomorrow.

    At the fire scene, Rev. Cardinale said, he was instantly drawn to Mrs. McNamara. The first thing she said to him was, "Will you pray, Father?"

    "She wanted to do it right there, right as soon as we could, which I thought was phenomenal," Rev. Cardinale said. "I felt very privileged to be able be a part of, in some small way, some healing or a sign of God's presence.

    "For a priest, dealing with my own questioning about how a tragedy like this could happen, the miracle of faith when you see it in people, the grace of God working in people, even in the midst of unspeakable tragedy, that strengthens me and affirms me in my role as God's representative," Rev. Cardinale said. "The mystery of the ability of him (Mr. McNamara) to risk his life for strangers is also evidence of God's presence. Where was God? God was actually in Marty."

    Firefighter McNamara, a lifelong Clinton resident and Clinton High School graduate, was a driller for Technical Drilling Service in Sterling while serving part time as a call firefighter in Lancaster.

    Lancaster Firefighter Michael Hanson worked alongside Firefighter McNamara for three years, including Saturday. He said his fallen comrade was an all-around great guy.

    "Marty was just a funny guy, a great guy. We called him "Marty Mac,'" Mr. Hanson said. "We all just loved him. You could always have a good joke with Marty, a good laugh."

    Firefighter Hanson said that besides being real easy to get along with, Firefighter McNamara always kept his wife and children in his thoughts and close to his heart.

    "Marty always thought about his family whenever he was at the firehouse. He always talked about his wife and he always talked about his children," Firefighter Hanson said. "Some of it was jokingly, and a lot of it was very serious. He always had them in the front of his mind, no matter what we were doing. A brush fire, a false alarm or a house fire, he always mentioned something about them."

    Firefighter McNamara's father and grandfather, also named "Martin H. McNamara," both served as Clinton selectmen, and both have been members of the Clinton Finance Committee.

    As stadium lights bathed the ruins of the house on Mill Street last night, state Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan still had no preliminary findings to share on the cause of the fire. He said the investigation is not focusing on anything specific.

    Investigators had to wait until early afternoon yesterday before the building was stabilized enough for them to search the scene. Mr. Coan said he expects the investigation to resume early today.

    Mr. Coan said investigators are concentrating on the basement, because firefighters initially reported the fire originated there. He added that experts in electrical systems, in utility systems and in mechanical systems, in addition to the team of state police investigators, have joined in the search for clues.

    "We are taking a very methodical, step-by-step, inch-by-inch review of the basement area, looking to determine the area of origin," Mr. Coan said.

    Mr. Coan said it's very clear to him that the McNamara family was very proud of Firefighter McNamara's accomplishments with the department.

    "Mrs. McNamara and the family had indicated that they want Marty buried with full Fire Department tribute. She really believed in what he had done for the community. She believed in what a firefighter was," Mr. Coan said. "The wake on Monday and the funeral Tuesday will reflect the traditions of the fire service as we bury a hero."

    Photo Below

    Lancaster firefighter Martin H. McNamara V and daughters Molli, 5, and Elizabeth, 2, in a family photo taken just days before he died.
    Enlarge photo

  7. #7
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    South West
    Posts
    3,296

    Funeral Services Firefighter Martin McNamara LODD

    number:864767
    Monday, December 1, 2003

    Martin McNamara V, 31



    CLINTON- Martin McNamara V., 31, died early Saturday morning while fighting a fire in Lancaster.

    He leaves his wife of nine years, Claire (Innamorati) McNamara; two daughters, Molli McNamara and Elizabeth McNamara, both at home; his parents, Martin McNamara IV and Joanne (Giansanto) McNamara of Clinton; two sisters, Kristen DiMeco of Clinton and Erin Mortimer of Lancaster; his maternal grandmother, Lorraine Giansanto of Clinton; his paternal grandparents, Martin McNamara III and Helen (Regonnini) McNamara of Clinton; several nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.

    He was born in Worcester and lived in Clinton all of his life. He was a graduate of Clinton High School and attended Monty Tech. He also took several fire science classes.

    Mr. McNamara was a driller for Technical Drilling Service in Sterling. He was also a call firefighter for Lancaster and an EMT.

    He was a lifelong member of St. John the Evangelist Church.

    Funeral services will be held on Tuesday from the Philbin-Comeau Funeral Home, 176 Water Street, with a Mass at 11:00 a.m. in St. John the Evangelist Church, 80 Union Street. Burial to follow in the parish cemetery in Lancaster. Calling hours at the funeral home will be on Monday from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

    In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Martin McNamara Family Fund, c/o Leominster Credit Union, Mechanics Street, Clinton, MA 01510.

    ARRANGEMENTS
    Calling Hours: 12/01/03
    2:00 - 4:00 & 7:00 - 9:00 P.M.
    at the Funeral Home
    Date of Funeral: 12/02/03
    Funeral Home: Philbin-Comeau Funeral Home
    176 Water Street
    Location: from the Funeral Home with a Mass in St. John the Evangelist Church, 80 Union Street
    Time: 11:00 a.m.

  8. #8
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    South West
    Posts
    3,296

    Funeral For Fallen Hero

    Funeral For Fallen Hero
    Funeral services were held Tuesday for a part-time Lancaster, Massachusetts, firefighter killed while battling a house fire Saturday. NECN's Nichole Liberati has more from Martin McNamara's hometown of Clinton, Massachusetts. (Nichole Liberati reports, 12/2/03 12:42 a.m.) Watch video




    See report

    http://www.mirror-image.com/necn/bos..._1202_1230p.rm

  9. #9
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    South West
    Posts
    3,296

    Many mourn lost firefighter

    Wednesday, December 3, 2003

    Many mourn lost firefighter

    McNamara recalled at emotional funeral

    By Karen Nugent
    T&G STAFF

    CLINTON- Last Friday, Martin H. McNamara V picked out a Christmas tree with his two young daughters, Molli, 5, and Elizabeth, 2. It was the day after Thanksgiving, and the volunteer firefighter's 31st birthday. His wife, Claire, was due with their third child Sunday.

    But a weekend that was supposed to bring joy to the family instead delivered unspeakable tragedy. Firefighter McNamara, a lifelong Clinton resident, lost his life in the basement of an old farmhouse in Lancaster, where he was battling a house fire.

    "Where was God Saturday morning?" asked the Rev. Kenneth R. Cardinale during his homily at Firefighter McNamara's funeral yesterday at a packed St. John's Church. Hundreds of fellow firefighters from all over the state were at the funeral, most standing in detail formation outside the church.

    "It's one of the ultimate mysteries of death," Rev. Cardinale said, after recounting the gospel story of Jesus and his friend Lazarus, whom he raised from the dead.

    "Jesus wept. We know he is right here with us, grieving with us, but where was he Saturday morning? Well, God was there, as soon as the firefighters got there," Rev. Cardinale said.

    Claire McNamara, who has not delivered the baby yet, was led into the church sobbing. She was comforted by her parents and her parents-in-law.

    Rev. Cardinale said that when he arrived at fire scene Saturday on Mill Street, Lancaster, Mrs. McNamara asked him to pray with her.

    The eulogy yesterday was given by Francis J. Garrity, a family friend, who described "Tuca" - Firefighter McNamara's nickname - as a fun-loving guy dedicated to his family and to his two jobs, firefighting and his work as a driller.

    And dancing.

    "How he could get up and dance," Mr. Garrity said. "Whenever he got up on that dance floor, people gathered around - with those moves and that smile, how could you resist?"

    Mr. Garrity said Firefighter McNamara was proud to be "Marty the Fifth," carrying on the family name like his father and grandfather, both former Clinton selectmen.

    Firefighter McNamara and his wife were high school sweethearts, Mr. Garrity said, adding that Firefighter McNamara also was the "go-to person" for his two sisters, Kristen and Erin.

    Breaking down, Mr. Garrity ended the eulogy with, "Bye bye, Mac. We love you, we'll miss you, and we'll never forget you." It was followed by a big round of applause.

    The casket containing Firefighter McNamara was taken to the Union Street church on Lancaster's fire Engine 3. Another Lancaster engine, Ladder 1, bore a huge pile of flowers.

    The two engines pulled up in front of a huge contingent of fellow firefighters, who had marched from St. John's Gym, about a half-mile away, to the church. Bagpipers led the way. The casket was carried up the church steps between rows of state police troopers; fire officials, including state Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan; and the Fire Department chaplains.

    In the church foyer, the McNamara family was met by the Clinton and Lancaster selectmen. Gov. Mitt Romney was at the funeral, as were U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Worcester; state Sen. Harriette L. Chandler, D-Worcester; and state Rep. Harold P. Naughton Jr., D-Clinton.

    Prompted by Firefighter McNamara's death, the Central Massachusetts legislative contingent is crafting legislation that would give pension benefits to widows of call firefighters. Ms. Chandler, who represents a portion of Clinton, said the bill would likely be filed this week.

    "We're going to correct that with this legislation," she said.

    On the altar yesterday, a dozen priests and lay priests in white robes helped officiate. The Rev. Daniel P. Reilly, bishop of the Diocese of Worcester, was among the clergy, along with the Rev. Thomas V. Walsh, pastor of St. John's.

    The Lancaster and Clinton fire and ambulance departments sat in a group in the center section of pews.

    After the service, Lancaster and Clinton firefighters marched behind the two firetrucks from the church to graveside ceremonies at St. John's Cemetery, at least a mile away - in Lancaster - in freezing temperatures and whipping winds. A single drummer accompanied them.

    The group was led by Sterling Fire Lt. David Johnson, who was carrying Firefighter McNamara's helmet, and, flanking him, Clinton Fire Capt. John M. McNamara and retired Clinton Firefighter Walter M. McNamara, both cousins of Lancaster Firefighter McNamara.

    Photo Below

    Claire McNamara touches the casket of her husband, Martin H. McNamara V, during yesterday's funeral service. (T&G Staff / RICK CINCLAIR)

  10. #10
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    South West
    Posts
    3,296

    Sterling Fire Lt. David Johnson carries Firefighter McNamara's helmet

    Photos Gallery

    http://www.telegram.com/apps/pbcs.dl...H&Profile=1025

    T&G Staff / RICK CINCLAIR

  11. #11
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    South West
    Posts
    3,296

    Fire site a memorial to loss

    Wednesday, December 3, 2003

    Fire site a memorial to loss

    By Mike Elfland
    T&G STAFF
    melfland@telegram.com


    LANCASTER- Package in hand, UPS deliveryman Gregory Bogojavlensky approached the yellow police tape that stretched across Mill Street near the scene of the weekend blaze that killed Firefighter Martin H. McNamara V.

    In the cordoned-off area, arson investigators compared notes and studied the charred hulk of the apartment house.

    Mr. Bogojavlensky was headed to an address three houses away. After some contemplation, he walked into the restricted area and toward his destination. His apprehension subsided when a police officer waved him through.

    As he passed 76 Mill St., where Firefighter McNamara perished, Mr. Bogojavlensky shed the deliberate gait of a deliveryman. His walk slowed, and he looked toward the house he had been reading about in the newspaper and seeing on television.

    Mr. Bogojavlensky then reached for his knit cap - the familiar brown of UPS - and lifted it from his head. He kept walking and he kept looking, his hat in one hand, package in the other.

    "It was a sign of a respect," Mr. Bogojavlensky said later. "I've heard so much about what went on here."

    Mr. Bogojavlensky was among many visitors to Mill Street yesterday to be touched by the sight of a building that proved to be a deathtrap for a firefighter. Firefighter McNamara, a call - or part-time - firefighter, died early Saturday after being among the first to arrive at the seven-unit house on fire.

    Many of the firefighters who attended his funeral in Clinton yesterday headed to Lancaster to get a look at the apartment house. It is common among firefighters to visit the scene of a comrade's death.

    "It's part of our closure," Spencer Fire Chief Robert P. Parsons said as he stood in front of the burned building yesterday. "It's a stark reality to us, to see it."

    On Dec. 9, 1999, in the hours after six Worcester firefighters were memorialized at the Worcester Centrum Center, hundreds of firefighters from throughout the country made their way to the burned-out former Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. building.

    That day, 20 Worcester firefighters skipped the memorial service so they could continue the search for remains of their colleagues. Then-Vice President Al Gore briefly visited the Worcester site and talked with firefighters.

    The focus of workers on Mill Street yesterday was markedly different from the focus of Worcester firefighters four years ago.

    Investigators yesterday were looking for clues about what started the fatal fire, and about what might have occurred in the basement where Firefighter McNamara perished. State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan said yesterday there were no major developments in the search for a cause of the fire.

    Investigators from the state fire marshal's office, including state troopers, focused yesterday on the rear of the basement of the two-and-a-half-story house. On Sunday and Monday, a crane was used to remove debris that filled the basement when the first floor collapsed in the fire. At one point, investigators moved pieces of the collapsed floor to the driveway and tried to piece it back together.

    The on-scene investigation was expected to wrap up late last night, according to Jennifer Mieth, spokeswoman for the fire marshal. Information from the investigation, but not necessarily the cause of the fire, is expected to be made public by the end of the week, Ms. Mieth said.

    Round-the-clock police details at the fire scene are expected to continue today. Officers from Berlin and other communities have aided Lancaster in keeping watch on Mill Street.

    Yesterday, while members of the Berlin Fire Department attended the funeral of Firefighter McNamara, a crew from the Spencer Fire Department was at the Berlin station. Firefighters in small towns such as Lancaster and Berlin develop a camaraderie because of the many instances in which they back up one another.

    The role of small-town fire departments is clear to Firefighter Francis Gallagher, a member of the large Cambridge Fire Department. He stood outside 76 Mill St. yesterday and pondered Firefighter McNamara's desire to someday be a full-time firefighter.

    "That's a guy who did it for almost nothing," said Firefighter Gallagher, noting the Lancaster firefighter's commitment to the profession. "Firefighting gets in you."


    Photo below

    Firefighters from many departments salute during taps at the burial of Martin H. McNamara V at St. John's Cemetery in Lancaster yesterday. (T&G Staff / RICK CINCLAIR)

  12. #12
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    South West
    Posts
    3,296

    Widow Of Fallen Firefighter Gives Birth To Daughter

    12/04/2003

    Widow Of Fallen Firefighter Gives Birth To Daughter

    WORCESTER, Mass. -- The widow of a volunteer firefighter killed in an apartment blaze over the weekend gave birth Thursday to a healthy daughter who was named after her father.

    UMass Memorial Medical Center released a statement announcing the birth of Marty Frances McNamara, named after Martin McNamara V, who was killed Saturday after a series of explosions in the basement of a wood frame home in Clinton.

    Martin McNamara was discovered missing during a roll call outside. Firefighters rushed back in to look for him, but were driven back by flames.

    Both mother and daughter were doing well, the hospital said.

    McNamara, who had two other children, had served on the 30-man Lancaster force for three years. (AP)

    http://www.whdh.com/news/articles/local/A30234/


  13. #13
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    South West
    Posts
    3,296

    Sale to aid McNamara family

    Saturday, December 6, 2003

    Sale to aid McNamara family

    Clinton, Lancaster firefighters rally for fallen comrade

    By Michelle Carter
    CORRESPONDENT



    CLINTON- Exhausted and drained from a long week of coming to grips with the death of Firefighter Martin H. McNamara V, a group of Clinton and Lancaster firefighters are hoping to inject a bit of holiday cheer into the grieving communities while also helping his family.

    "It may get a little goofy," Firefighter Dale DiMeco said. "But I think it will be good for the guys to get out ... "

    He is the owner of D. DiMeco landscaping company on Main Street, directly across from the Clinton Fire Department, and also a brother-in-law of the fallen firefighter. Although he sells Christmas trees every year, this year the sales will come with a twist: Anyone who makes a donation to the McNamara Family Fund today or tomorrow will get their tree for free.

    "I thought of it Sunday, when I couldn't sleep," Firefighter DiMeco said. "We'll be there from 8 a.m. until we run out, or the snow gets the best of us."

    He said he'll be getting help from members of the Clinton and Lancaster Fire Departments for the event.

    "It's really a brotherhood," Firefighter DiMeco said. "Everyone's just looking for a way to help."

    Firefighter McNamara was buried with full firefighter honors Tuesday. He was killed while trapped in the basement of a burning home on Nov. 29 at 76 Mill St., Lancaster. The part-time firefighter, 31, left behind a wife and three children.

    Firefighter DiMeco said the family's spirits have been buoyed by the birth Thursday of their third child, a healthy little girl named Marty after the father she will never know.

    "I don't think I've ever looked at a baby like that," Firefighter DiMeco said. "She's adorable."

    He said the whole family sends its gratitude to the communities of Lancaster and Clinton for the support they've shown.

    "People just empty their hearts for you, it's amazing," he said. "You think in a time like this that people will be there for you, and they do about 10 times as much as you could ever dream."

    Donations may be made to the McNamara Family Fund all day today and tomorrow at DiMeco Landscaping, or at the Clinton branch of the Leominster Credit Union, 159 Mechanic St.

  14. #14
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    South West
    Posts
    3,296

    Cause of blaze that killed firefighter determined

    Saturday, December 6, 2003

    Cause of blaze that killed firefighter determined

    Cause of fatal fire extension cords, power strips

    By Mary Jo Hill
    T&G STAFF
    mhill@telegram.com



    LANCASTER- The blaze that killed a call firefighter a week ago was caused by a series of extension cords and power strips connected together in the basement, according to the state fire marshal.

    Investigators believe the electrical cords created the heat that ignited nearby combustibles in the apartment house at 76 Mill St., according to a prepared statement by state Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan.

    The Nov. 29 fire started in the basement at the ceiling level and there was no evidence of other heat sources in the area of origin, according to the statement.

    After an investigation of other electrical components in the basement, the fixed wiring was found not to be part of the ignition scenario, the fire marshal said.

    The home was equipped with a fire-alarm system, working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, the fire marshal said.

    Martin H. McNamara V, a Lancaster call firefighter, died while fighting the blaze. He is survived by his wife, Claire, and three daughters, including Marty, who was born on Thursday.

    Jennifer L. Mieth, a spokeswoman for the state fire marshal, said last night that investigators ruled out every other possible cause. Because there was no other heat source than the cords where the fire started, this led investigators to believe cords were the "most probable cause" of fire.

    She said the cause and origin phase of investigation is completed. The only thing left, she said, is for the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health to investigate what can be learned from Firefighter McNamara's death.

    The state fire marshal has notified NIOSH, whose Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program conducts investigations into firefighter deaths. The investigations are meant to come up with recommendations to prevent future deaths and injuries. The investigations do not seek to determine fault or place blame on fire departments or individual firefighters, Fire Marshal Coan said.

    It will be some months before the NIOSH investigation into Firefighter McNamara's death is complete and a report is issued.

    In his statement about the probable cause of the fire, Fire Marshal Coan said, "One of the mistakes that we all make is to think that extension cords and power strips are as safe as the professionally installed fixed wiring in our homes.

    "Extension cords and power strips are designed for temporary, short-term use only and are easily overloaded. They generate heat which over a long period of time can ignite nearby combustibles," according to Fire Marshal Coan.

    Explosions heard during the Lancaster fire were caused by several small aerosol cans stored in the basement, according to the statement.

    The fire spread across the basement ceiling and went up through the balloon-frame-constructed walls, according to the statement. The building collapsed over the area where the fire started and burned the longest.

    Members of the Lancaster Police and Fire departments and state police officers assigned to the state fire marshal's office conducted the investigation into the fire's cause.

    The fire marshal offers the following tips:


    Use extension cords only when absolutely necessary.


    Do not plug extension cords into other extension cords or power strips.


    Follow the one outlet-one plug rule. Even if an extension cord or power strip has several outlets, it is drawing power from the single wall outlet that is not designed to power multiple appliances - especially appliances that produce heat like toaster ovens, coffee makers and space heaters. Never overload extension cords.


    Do not run electrical cords under rugs; it traps the heat and can cause a fire, and cords quickly become frayed and can short out when stepped on

  15. #15
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    South West
    Posts
    3,296

    Small, but proud of public service

    Monday, December 8, 2003

    Small, but proud of public service


    By George Barnes
    T&G COLUMNIST
    Barnestorming

    The death of call firefighter Martin H. McNamara V is a reminder to everyone of the dangers all firefighters face when they answer an alarm.

    Whether they are professional full-time firefighters, call firefighters or volunteer firefighters, they all have a difficult and dangerous job.

    It is easy to think that in small towns the fire departments are almost like clubs, and the bulk of what they deal with are often brush fires, dangerous to a point but not like house fires.

    The departments are often a group of friends who train together during free time from their regular jobs. They also get together in their free time for turkey raffles or other fund-raisers. They are often involved in other community organizations.

    BIG CITIES
    Their firefighting jobs do not carry the same risks as firefighters from the South Bronx or other big city fire departments. The brush fires and chimney fires are what they are used to fighting. They are likely to see only one or two house fires each year.

    And the house fires in small towns are probably not as dangerous as triple-decker fires in small cities and large apartment block fires in the bigger cities. Each comes with its own complexities and hazards, but the bigger the building, the greater the hazard to the firefighter.

    Regardless of the dangers, firefighters in the small and large communities do their duty and take the risks and know there is always the potential for disaster.

    What happened to Martin McNamara was nothing short of a disaster. The cause of the fire was overloaded sockets, but he died because a routine firefighting effort went terribly wrong. He was killed, others were injured and suddenly the idea of the firefighters club is out the window.

    Martin McNamara's death made everyone pause and consider his own mortality. The firefighters who went into that building with him all know it could easily have been one of them who died. It was more a matter of who was where when it all went wrong.

    They know the risks and they will live with the tragedy, but if they had it to do over - knowing what they knew then - it is likely all would go into the building again.

    Risks are part of the job. Every volunteer firefighter, call firefighter and professional firefighter knows that at any time on any call, something could go wrong.

    It would keep lesser men up at night pondering their fate. The men and women who join fire departments do not have the luxury of second-guessing and obsessing about the dangers of their job. They have to put their energies into doing their job.

    HEROES
    People use the term hero a lot these days; when overused, it tends to lose its meaning. Firefighters may be viewed as heroes to many, but, more than that, what they are is dedicated.

    They want nothing more than to do their job. In small towns, when they get into the middle of a budget fight, it is never about pay. It is often about equipment, trucks, hoses, air packs and other items that allow them to do their jobs.

    Sure, they like pay raises. We all like pay raises. But they also like to do the best they can in providing an absolutely necessary service to their communities. They believe in what they do and they take pride in that.

    Firefighters can be cantankerous at times. They know what the need is and they can be a force to be reckoned with at town meeting. But their focus is always on improving what they do. They ask for thermal imaging cameras or the best quality breathing devices, fireproof clothing - whatever is new and proven to make their job safer. They are constantly asking for new trucks or pumps.

    Sometimes the towns can give them all they want. Sometimes they are lucky to get anything, but they go there asking because they know good equipment saves lives.

    PRIDE IN JOB
    These small-town people - truck drivers, factory workers, doctors, lawyers, plumbers and those of many other professions - view their community service of firefighting with pride, the same way full-time firefighters do.

    Martin McNamara, probably more than many, understood the place of a firefighter in a community. He came from a long line of firefighters. He grew up in the craft and proudly followed the footsteps of many of his family who had gone into firefighting before him.

    He knew that although firefighters are public employees their value goes way beyond that. They are a line of defense in towns as small as a few thousand, protecting homes and businesses from disaster. In training for the job, they train for the risks as well.

    The death of Martin McNamara V should be mourned for years to come. He was a credit to the community he grew up in and a credit to the community he gave his life for.

    But his family should also take pride in who he was and in the security and peace of mind he and others give to small communities. He risked his life for people he'd never met because he was dedicated public servant.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •