Report on Massachusetts LODD Released

A state police report details how what seemed to be a manageable fire quickly deteriorated into a tragedy that ended with the death of firefighter Martin H. McNamara.

McGloughlin saw there was heavy fire on the second floor about five minutes later, which would reignite everytime it was "knocked down."

Ford ordered an exterior attack in an attempt to protect the side of the building with the staircase where McNamara was, he said.

Once Keyspan shut the gas down, McGloughlin's team went back into the basement with three other firefighters to find McNamara at the bottom of the stairs, in a foot of water.

"The basement filled with smoke again fast," and another firefighter pulled McGloughlin out of the basement after they had gotten McNamara halfway up the stairs.

A second team was able to get McNamara to the top of the stairs before they had to retreat.

It wasn't until firefighters knocked down most of the fire at around 6:30 a.m. that they were able to retrieve McNamara, according to the NIOSH report.

The NIOSH report listed smoke and soot inhalation as the cause of death.

"(Ford) got a report from the entry team and was still in disbelief that they still had a firefighter trapped," the State Police report said. "Upon that confirmation, he turned over command to Chief Alfred LeBlanc from Leominster and Chief David Hurlbut from Sterling."

"He couldn't think at this point," it states.

Carl W. Lindley Jr., an attorney for McNamara's widow, Claire McNamara, also asked for and received the State Police report.