It’s been six months since two Boston firefighters perished in a fast-moving fire on Beacon Street in the Back Bay. Welders working without a permit at the apartment next door are blamed for sparking the fire, which spread to nine alarms. 

Lieutenant Edward Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy died after becoming trapped in the basement.  In recorded radio calls from that day, they can be heard calling for more water.

We now know the fire hose Walsh and Kennedy were using burned in the fire. Now, Kennedy’s mother is working to ensure other firefighters don’t lose their lives because of that kind of equipment failure. Kathleen Crosby-Bell created the Last Call Foundation in memory of her son.

Emily Rooney had the opportunity to meet Michael Kennedy when he responded to a false alarm at her house on Easter in 2013. Read her essay on the experience.