EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


March 28, 2014

Boston mourns 2 firefighters killed in blaze


Nothing had been ruled in or out about the fire’s cause, though Deputy Chief Joseph Finn had said earlier that there was no reason to suspect foul play.

Lisa Timberlake, a spokeswoman for Boston’s Inspectional Services Department, said the building did not appear to have any serious inspection violations. The owners were fined $25 in 2012 for improper storage of trash.

Funeral arrangements for the firefighters had not yet been announced.

Kennedy, who was single, served on the board of the Boston Firefighters Burn Foundation, which raises money and offers support for victims and families at three major burn units in the city.

Phil Skrabut, a foundation board member, recalled Kennedy’s frequent visits to young burn victims at Shriners Hospital.

“He connected with the children right off the bat,” Skrabut said. “He was never intimidated by any of their injuries. He would just walk into the room and start playing with them as if he was a kid himself. He was just a very happy guy and a big kid and he had a huge, huge heart.”

Just three weeks ago, Kennedy and other foundation members visited a Boston hospital where Andrew Stevens, a Claremont, N.H. firefighter, was recovering from burns suffered in a March 2 house fire. The foundation provided the family with gift cards for living expenses and arranged a hotel for a week.

Associated Press writers Paige Sutherland in Boston and Rik Stevens in Concord, N.H., contributed to this report.

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