WORCESTER, Mass. — In an outpouring of support, dozens gathered Sunday and Monday to grieve the death of a man who died making sure others were safe.
Worcester Firefighter Christopher Roy was battling a multi-alarm fire in Worcester early Sunday morning when he, along with four other firefighters, got trapped inside the burning home.
Both Roy and another firefighter were transported to an area hospital for treatment, but Roy later succumbed to his injuries. The other firefighter is in stable condition, according to Worcester FD.
Communities across the state came together Monday as Roy's body was taken from Worcester to the medical examiner's office in Boston, and then to the funeral home in Worcester.
Roy was a member of the Webster Square Fire Station Ladder 4 Group 3. He had been a part of the fire department for two and a half years at the time of his passing. He leaves behind a 9-year-old daughter, his parents, and a brother. He was a resident of Shrewsbury, Mass.
“He was a kind and generous and giving man who lived for his daughter," his mother, Michele Roy, told the Boston Globe. “He raised her as a single dad and made sure she had the best of everything. It was so hard, but he never, ever complained. He loved his daughter so much,” Michele Roy said.
Burial will immediately follow where he will be laid to rest at Notre Dame Cemetery.
“On behalf of the entire city of Worcester, I want to offer condolences to the Roy family, Chief Lavoie and the entire Worcester Fire Department,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus. “I would ask the media to respect the privacy of the family and firefighters during this difficult time.”
Sunday, candles flickered outside the Webster Square fire station, set up to illuminate the initials C.R.
“It’s personal. It’s personal for the whole city of Worcester," said Jay Marcimo, of Worcester. "It’s devastating, there’s no other words for it."
From near and far people came to the Worcester fire station later on Sunday to pay their respects to Roy, who lost his life making sure others were safe.
"I'm sorry I'm teary-eyed, that's how I feel," said Janice Kalmowitz, a Worcester resident.
Carnations, a ring of pine and silent prayers filled the fire station while a mourning Worcester leaned on each other for solace.
"I feel bad for his family, I feel bad for his child, I feel bad for all the guys that work here all his colleagues that had to be there for him," said Onset Fire Lt. Justin Harrington.
December is always a tough month for the Worcester Fire Department as they remember all of those who lost their lives on the line of duty.
"He was one of the nicest guys you could’ve met," said Anthony Wildner, a Worcester tow truck driver.
Just one day prior to Roy's passing, the fire department remembered Worcester firefighter John Davies who lost his life during a fire in 2011 after he went back inside to search for a victim and the building collapsed on him.
Last Monday, the department sent their prayers to the Worcester Six on the 19th anniversary of their deaths. On December 3, 1999, six Worcester firefighters lost their lives while battling flames in a cold storage warehouse; those six men were Lt. Thomas Spencer and Lt. James Lyons, and firefighters Paul Brotherton, Timothy Jackson, Jeremiah Lucey and Joseph McGuirk.
With little time to process, the community Roy protected is now showing his family how thankful they are for his service and how they'll stand behind them in the days to come.
If you'd like to help out the Roy family, you can purchase a T-shirt here, where all net proceeds will go to the Roy family.
A memorial fund has also been established by Worcester Firefighter IAFF Local 1009 in the name of his daughter, Ava Roy.
Checks may be made payable to the Ava Roy Fund and mailed to: Worcester Fire Department Credit Union, 34 Glennie Street, Worcester, MA 01605.
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