Fron the Brockton Enterprise
Posted Mar 11, 2010 @ 08:19 AM
Last update Mar 11, 2010 @ 01:50 PM
BROCKTON — Each year in Brockton, firefighters gather to remember the 13 firefighters who died in the Strand Theatre on March 10, 1941. This year, Brockton Fire Chief Richard Francis asked that people also remember the more than 20 firefighters who were injured and came back to work, many still dealing with problems.

“Sometimes we forget about that,” Francis said after the ceremony Wednesday. “We have kind of neglected the people who were injured. There were people who were severely injured, who came back to work, some with hands burnt so bad.”

More than 150 people gathered Wednesday at the City Hall for the memorial service marking the 69th anniversary of the fire.

Four former or current Brockton fire chiefs attended the event: Edward “Sonny” Burrell, who was among dozens of city firefighters who battled the roaring blaze at the downtown theater; James Hallisey; recently retired Kenneth Galligan; and Francis.

The Strand Theatre was the largest theater in the city when it caught fire on School Street in 1941. The National Fire Protection Association listed it among the worst fires in the country in terms of firefighters killed.