The Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse Fire: Box 5-1438

Harvey Eisner interviews the initial incident commander at the fire that claimed the lives of six firefighters.Editor's note: This article is based on an official interview between Harvey Eisner and the initial incident commander six months after the...


Harvey Eisner interviews the initial incident commander at the fire that claimed the lives of six firefighters. Editor's note: This article is based on an official interview between Harvey Eisner and the initial incident commander six months after the devastating fire. At press time, the incident...


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Across the street from the warehouse a tent city was erected. There was an operations command post for the Worcester Fire Department. The Massachusetts state fire marshal set up a command post. There was an area for the families, food, rest and recuperation, state hazardous materials teams, staging and critical incident stress debriefing. Numerous departments covered empty Worcester fire stations. Out-of-city units operated at a two-alarm fire during the recovery period. The last firefighter was recovered nearly a week after the fire began.

A memorial service for the fallen firefighters brought nearly 35,000 firefighters from around the world in the largest gathering of firefighters in the 350-year history of the U.S. Fire Service. Six separate funerals were conducted. Out-of-town mutual aid companies from across the state remained on duty for nearly two weeks. The criminal and fire investigations and internal departmental review continue.

IN MEMORIAM

Lieutenant Thomas E. Spencer, Ladder 2
Firefighter Paul Brotherton, Rescue 1
Firefighter Timothy Jackson, Ladder 2
Firefighter Jeremiah M. Lucey, Rescue 1
Firefighter James F. Lyons, Engine 3
Firefighter Joseph T. McGuirk, Engine 3