• Families of fallen firefighters call for stiffer regulations on contractors

    By: Blair Miller


    BOSTON - It's been more than four years since the deadly fire in Back Bay that killed two Boston firefighters.

    Wednesday on Beacon Hill, the families of those firefighters laid out their concerns and said more change is needed to make sure it doesn't happen again.

    The families of Lt. Edward Walsh and firefighter Michael Kennedy laid out their concerns about the permitting process for contractors.

    Welding contributed to starting the blaze that killed them. But workers didn't secure a permit for the metalwork performed at the scene.

    The rules have changed since then, but the families argue it hasn’t been enough.  

    “What is not sufficient right now is the penalties for violations and infractions of the permit process that's in place and that's what we need to address,” Kennedy’s mother, Kathy Crosby-Bell, said.

    Supporters want contractors to face stiffer penalties if they are caught cutting corners and enough to keep them from doing it.

    Local contractors also showed up supporting those regulations.

    “We want to do the right thing,” one contractor told Boston 25 News. “We strive to do the right thing and we know what that is.”

    The state firefighters’ union says Boston has stepped up the rules since the Back Bay fire and the state needs to follow that.

    “Since this tragedy in Boston, Boston has taken the lead in fixing this problem and the state needs to do that and we need to expand it across the state,” union president Rich MacKinnon said. 

    MORE: Report: What went wrong in deadly Back Bay fire

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