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Remembering Boston Fire Lt. Ed Walsh: 'He Took His Men Under His Wing'

BOSTON (CBS) - Edward "Eddie" Walsh Jr. was always among the first to enter a burning building. That was the case again on Wednesday, March 26 when the Boston Fire Lieutenant braved his way into a 4-story brick building at 298 Beacon Street.

He and firefighter Michael Kennedy made their way into that burning building, armed with a hose, and went right to the basement, the heart of the fire.

Within 3 minutes, they called 'mayday', indicating they were trapped. Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Finn later said is appears a front window in the basement broke out, blowing the fire back at the men. Walsh's body was pulled from that basement nearly five hours later, by the men from his firehouse.

"He was taken out the back through a line of firefighters," said Boston Fire spokesman Steve McDonald, describing the somber ritual. "Everyone saluted him and he was taken for his last ride."

Ed Walsh, 43, lived in West Roxbury with his wife and his three children, two boys and one girl, all under the age of 10.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Kim Tunnicliffe reports

Lt. Walsh's Death Hits Hard In West Roxbury Neighborhood

After speaking to some of Walsh's colleagues Thursday, Governor Deval Patrick said it was clear that Ed was a "quintessential family man," and he "lived his whole life as a leader by example."

Walsh came from a firefighting family; both his father and uncle were fire lieutenants in nearby Watertown.

Lieutenant Walsh had been with the Boston Fire Department for nine and a half years. He was stationed at Engine 33/Ladder 15, just blocks from the fire, at 941 Boylston Street.

Finn described him as a "very competent fire officer. Took his men under his wing and was very, very hands-on."

The depth of loss and respect from those men could be seen Wednesday night, in a poignant moment at Boston Medical Center. The men of Engine 33 lined both sides of a hearse, and walked alongside their lieutenant as Walsh's body was brought to the morgue.

"It's a sad day for the city of Boston," Mayor Marty Walsh said. "We lost two heroes here today."

"Their aggressive action helped keep that so we could get the rest of the occupants out of the upper floors," Finn said.

Memorial Fund

A Lieutenant Walsh - Firefighter Kennedy Memorial Fund has been established.

Donations will be accepted by mail by sending a check to:

Lieutenant Walsh - Firefighter Kennedy Memorial Fund
Boston Firefighters Credit Union
60 Hallet Street
Dorchester, MA 02124

Credit card donations will also be accepted on BOSFIRECU.COM


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