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    Default Lancaster LODD Local News Articles

    From the Telegram & Gazette.

    Not sure if photos will work...


    Firefighters view the scene yesterday at 76 Mill St. Authorities interviewed firefighters, tenants and neighbors in their search for a cause of the blaze and interviews are expected to continue today. (T&G Staff / BETTY JENEWIN)



    Martin H. McNamara IV, father of the Lancaster firefighter killed in action, speaks yesterday with reporters. (Craig Semon)


    Sunday, November 30, 2003

    Lancaster firefighter dies in fire


    Basement is deathtrap

    By Mike Elfland
    T&G STAFF



    Firefighters view the scene yesterday at 76 Mill St. Authorities interviewed firefighters, tenants and neighbors in their search for a cause of the blaze and interviews are expected to continue today. (T&G Staff / BETTY JENEWIN)
    Enlarge photo


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    Attached files:
    MAP: Fatal fire at 76 Mill St. (GIF, 20121 kb)




    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-story wood-frame house at 76 Mill St.

    "The conditions in the basement deteriorated fast," said Clinton Fire Capt. John M. McNamara, a cousin of the deceased firefighter.

    State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan, one of several state and regional investigators who hurried to the scene after learning a firefighter had died, said firefighters were not sure of Firefighter McNamara's fate until a head count of firefighters was taken outside the burning building.

    The fire marshal said the cause of the fire was unclear, but that residents reported the sound of an explosion in the basement.

    A second explosion may have been from a natural gas line that was damaged as a result of the fire, the fire marshal said.



    Martin H. McNamara IV, father of the Lancaster firefighter killed in action, speaks yesterday with reporters. (Craig Semon)
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    "There was a big bang, and then the lights went out," said first-floor tenant Louis DeLillo, who spent much of yesterday morning in his bathrobe, watching firefighters at work and trying to figure out what might have happened in the basement below his bed.

    Neither Mr. DeLillo nor any of the building's other seven occupants were injured in the fire. Smoke alarms alerted some residents to the blaze.

    Firefighter McNamara, Deputy Chief McLaughlin and at least two other firefighters hurried into the basement, where fire was the heaviest, soon after arriving on Mill Street, said Capt. McNamara. Minutes later, as the flames intensified, firefighters decided to make their way out of the basement, the captain said.

    Firefighters lost track of Firefighter McNamara, and Deputy Chief McLaughlin became disoriented, Capt. McNamara said. The other firefighters were able to help the deputy chief to the stairway, but were unable to locate Firefighter McNamara, according to the captain. They remained in the basement as long as possible, he said.

    "They stayed longer. They knew there was a guy missing," Capt. McNamara said.

    After the injured Deputy Chief McLaughlin and other firefighters - including Terry Parker and Edward McNamara, no relation to the fallen firefighter, of the Clinton Fire Department, according to the captain - emerged from the basement, fire officials were able to confirm that Firefighter McNamara was missing.

    Fire Marshal Coan said initial attempts to re-enter the basement were thwarted by some kind of blast. After flames were knocked down, a rescue team made its way into the building and found the body of Firefighter McNamara, the fire marshal said. The firefighter was not immediately removed from the building.

    Deputy Chief McLaughlin was being treated last night for extensive smoke inhalation at UMass Memorial Medical Center - University Campus, Worcester, authorities said.

    His brother, former Lancaster Fire Chief Michael A. McLaughlin, said late yesterday that his brother will be fine and is expected to be in the hospital for three or four days.

    The two other Clinton firefighters who were in the basement were treated for minor injuries, authorities said.

    Fire officials said the fire left the century-old house unstable, with parts of the second floor falling onto the first floor, and the first floor collapsing into the basement. The fire was brought under control by dawn, but flames were still burning in some roof joists into late morning.

    Firefighter McNamara's father, Martin H. McNamara IV, a former selectman in Clinton, made his way to the fire scene soon after learning of his son's death. Many McNamara family members remained secluded at the elder McNamara's home on Mount View Drive.

    Firefighter McNamara, who turned 31 on Friday, leaves two young daughters, both younger than 5, and his wife, Claire, who is due to give birth to the couple's third child in the coming days, according to friends and relatives of the firefighter.

    Firefighter McNamara worked as a contractor, but he had dreams of someday becoming a full-time firefighter. He was described by friends as a family man and as an unselfish person.

    "Here's a group of guys who run into someone's house that they don't even know," said Lamont Plowden, a first-floor tenant of the burned building. He said word of a firefighter's death made him forget about his many lost possessions. "These are probably some of the greatest guys in the world, and I've never met them."

    By dawn yesterday, grief counselors were called in to help firefighters cope with the loss of a colleague. Many of the two dozen or so Lancaster call firefighters who were at the scene returned to the main fire station. Deputy Fire Chief Sean Ford, who is helping to run the department until town officials hire a permanent replacement for former Chief Michael A. McLaughlin, also left the fire scene.

    "I have six kids and, in my heart, I can't even tell you how I feel," said Lancaster firefighter Patrick Goodwin. "This is brutal."

    Sterling Fire Chief David C. Hurlbut Jr. and Leominster Fire Chief Alfred E. LeBlanc took charge of the operation in the absence of a Lancaster firefighter.

    Fire Marshal Coan, based in the state's expansive fire-scene command vehicle, huddled with state police investigators.

    Authorities interviewed firefighters, tenants and neighbors in their search for a cause. Interviews are expected to continue today.

    "It's our intent to secure the fire building so we can start to get inside to do the physical evidence, review and collection," Fire Marshal Coan said. "It is an ongoing investigation. There is no preliminary cause that we have at this time."

    Firefighter Goodwin said the death of Firefighter McNamara will reverberate for years to come. He recalled the sobering effect the death of six Worcester firefighters in 1999 had on the profession throughout the world.

    Fire Marshal Coan said, "Lancaster firefighters are hurting. They're hurting at the loss of their own. As you know, the firehood is a close brotherhood, and that's very good because the support is there to help them."

    Michael McLaughlin, the former Lancaster fire chief, said it is his understanding the town lost firefighters in the line of duty before, most recently in the 1940s.

    Telegram & Gazette staff reporter Craig S. Semon contributed to this report.

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


    Lancaster firefighters watch yesterday as a crew begins tearing down the apartment house where firefighter Martin H. McNamara V died early Saturday morning. (T&G Photo / RICK CINCLAIR)

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



    Lancaster firefighters watch yesterday as a crew begins tearing down the apartment house where firefighter Martin H. McNamara V died early Saturday morning. (T&G Photo / RICK CINCLAIR)
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    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."

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    Sunday, November 30, 2003

    Study faulted Lancaster Fire Department

    Selectmen defend response to Mill St. fire

    By Mike Elfland
    T&G STAFF


    LANCASTER- A recent study of the Lancaster Fire Department, commissioned by selectmen, found several shortcomings with the department, including inadequate response times to fires and other emergencies, poor morale and questionable communication with town officials.

    The town has not had a permanent fire chief since Michael A. McLaughlin stepped down last year, and the delayed search for a replacement could take another six months. Former Marlboro Fire Chief Edward L. Bigelow is expected to start as interim Lancaster chief in the coming weeks.

    At the Mill Street site of the fire that claimed the life yesterday of a Lancaster firefighter, selectmen said there is nothing to suggest that any problems cited in the study played a role in the events on Mill Street.

    Martin H. McNamara V, a call firefighter, died while fighting a fire in an apartment house at 76 Mill St.

    Asked about the study, Selectmen Steven A. Hilliger and Alexandra Turner strongly defended the town's firefighters.

    Mr. Hilliger, a call firefighter who is handling administrative duties for the Fire Department in the absence of a chief, said manpower was sufficient yesterday. Ms. Turner said the Fire Department has sound fire-scene practices, which she lauded yesterday.

    The Fire Department's higher-ranking firefighters serve as incident commanders. All but the fire chief, which will soon become a full-time post, are call firefighters in Lancaster.

    The major recommendation in the study, by Bennett Associates of Norwell, was a switch from a part-time to full-time fire chief. Selectmen agreed to such a change.

    The study also recommended an increase in the number of call firefighters. The Fire Department currently has 32.

    Many communities that rely on call or volunteer firefighters have difficulty attracting them because many residents work out of town and cannot easily respond to a fire call.

    The report said: "All in all, the entire department is operationally capable and has good leadership from the two deputies in terms of tactical ability. However, the department clearly lacks career and on-call staff, customer service capacity, and has failed to adequately respond to a number of incidents."

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    Sunday, November 30, 2003

    Call duty was way to serve

    McNamara worked hard

    By Mike Elfland
    T&G STAFF


    LANCASTER- Martin H. McNamara V figured the best way to earn a spot as a full-time firefighter in his hometown of Clinton, or elsewhere, was to prove and hone his skills in a small town.

    In Lancaster, where the call fire department relies on people who can just about drop everything when the alarm rings, Firefighter McNamara was a welcome addition three years ago. He was among the many call firefighters - paid hourly for training and for fighting fires - who managed to show up at most of the town's fire calls.

    Away from the firetrucks, Firefighter McNamara spent much of his time with his two daughters, ages 5 and 2, and his wife, Claire, who is expecting the couple's third child.

    He worked for a drilling contractor by day, but kept his eyes on the dream of making a living as a firefighter. When word reached his Maple Street house before dawn yesterday that there was a fire on Mill Street, just off Main Street, he hurried to the fire station.

    "His goal was to become a permanent firefighter," said Clinton Fire Capt. John McNamara, his cousin. "He figured this was the way to do it."

    Firefighter McNamara's quick response to the reported fire put him among the first firefighters inside the 2-story house at 76 Mill St., fire officials said. Lugging a hose, he headed to the basement, where the fire seemed to be focused, officials said.

    Conditions quickly deteriorated. His colleagues tried to find Firefighter McNamara, but it was too late. He did not make it out.

    "Marty was the kind of son that every father and mother would ever want," his father, Martin H. McNamara IV, said yesterday. "He was a loving father, husband. I guess he died doing something that he loved to do."

    Firefighter McNamara graduated from Clinton High School in 1990.

    At the Lancaster and Clinton fire stations yesterday morning, flags were lowered to half-staff in his honor. He was one of 32 call firefighters in Lancaster.

    "He was a great family man," said Lancaster Firefighter Patrick Goodwin. "This is a wake-up call."

    The death of Firefighter McNamara drew words of condolence from public officials.

    State Rep. Harold P. Naughton Jr., D-Clinton, met with officials at the fire scene and state Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly released a brief statement, saying in part, "Marty gave his life while selflessly protecting the people of his community. Marty is a hero to this entire commonwealth and his bravery will never be forgotten."

    Funeral arrangements were incomplete late last night.

    Telegram & Gazette staff reporter Craig S. Semon contributed to this report.

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    Default Funeral Services Firefighter Martin McNamara LODD

    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.

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    thanks Matt .........how sad ....
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    I've bolded one part below...be interesting to see what form & size it takes.

    Wednesday, December 3, 2003

    Many mourn lost firefighter

    McNamara recalled at emotional funeral

    By Karen Nugent
    T&G STAFF




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


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    Related photo galleries:
    Farewell to a fallen firefighter




    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.

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    In Karen Nugent's T&G article from December 3 2003, she mentions at the end Sterling Lt David Johnson carried Marty's helmet and lead the funeral procession. He was also seen doing this on the news videos of the funeral. I have been asked by many people, "Why did a Sterling firefighter carry his helmet, and not one from Lancaster?"

    Sterling's Engine 5 was one of the first mutual aid companies to the scene and performed PPV ventilation and a search. When the call went out that the basement crew, which Marty and the 3 Clinton firefighters were on, was in trouble, E5 responded. Lt Johnson was the CO of E5. After Lt Johnson and his crew evacuated the injured firefighters, they found Marty and dragged him as far as they could before escaping due to the intense heat. They tried as hard as they could to rescue Firefighter McNamara, but in the end evacuated themselves. Their efforts are nothing short of heroic, and they saved three other lives that day, as well as their own.

    Everyone at the scene that day truly was a hero; anyone that has the courage to perform the job that we do, call/volunteer or career, is a hero. Lt Johson and the crew of Sterling Engine 5 went above and beyond that day, and although their loss will take time to recover from, selfless acts like theirs are what saves lives and everyone should know that they did their best.

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    In Karen Nugent's T&G article from December 3 2003, she mentions at the end Sterling Lt David Johnson carried Marty's helmet and lead the funeral procession. He was also seen doing this on the news videos of the funeral. I have been asked by many people, "Why did a Sterling firefighter carry his helmet, and not one from Lancaster?"

    Sterling's Engine 5 was one of the first mutual aid companies to the scene and performed PPV ventilation and a search. When the call went out that the basement crew, which Marty and the 3 Clinton firefighters were on, was in trouble, E5 responded. Lt Johnson was the CO of E5. After Lt Johnson and his crew evacuated the injured firefighters, they found Marty and dragged him as far as they could before escaping due to the intense heat. They tried as hard as they could to rescue Firefighter McNamara, but in the end evacuated themselves. Their efforts are nothing short of heroic, and they saved three other lives that day, as well as their own.

    Everyone at the scene that day truly was a hero; anyone that has the courage to perform the job that we do, call/volunteer or career, is a hero. Lt Johson and the crew of Sterling Engine 5 went above and beyond that day, and although their loss will take time to recover from, selfless acts like theirs are what saves lives and everyone should know that they did their best.

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    Default It's a Girl

    Firefighter's widow gives birth to girl

    By T&G STAFF



    CLINTON- The widow of fallen Firefighter Martin H. McNamara V delivered the couple's third child yesterday.

    According to Firefighter McNamara's grandfather, Martin H. McNamara III, a healthy baby girl was born shortly before noon yesterday at the UMass Medical Center - Memorial Campus in Worcester. The baby's mother, Claire B. McNamara, named the child "Marty" after her father, he said. It is the couple's third daughter.

    "She's beautiful," the elder McNamara - the baby's great-grandfather - said.

    The new baby weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces, and is 22 inches long.

    Firefighter McNamara died early Saturday morning at a house fire in Lancaster. The baby was due the next day.

    The state fire marshall's office, meantime, is continuing to investigate the cause of the fire and hopes to make some conclusions soon, said Jennifer Mieth, spokeswoman for the office.

    A candlelight vigil will be held Sunday in Lancaster to pay tribute to Firefighter McNamara and to honor "our dedicated public safety officers, our local heroes who risk personal safety each and every day for the protection and service of others."

    The vigil begins at 4:30 p.m. at the First Church of Christ, Unitarian (Bulfinch Church) on the Town Green.
    Bill Martin
    Worcester, MA

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