Boston Fire Lieutenant Edward Walsh, 43, of Engine 33, and Firefighter Michael Kennedy, 33, of Ladder 15, died in a nine-alarm blaze on Beacon Street Wednesday afternoon.
Walsh leaves behind a wife and three children.
Kennedy was single, and a combat veteran of the United States Marines.
The fire broke out just shy of 2:45 p.m. in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood.
Lt. Walsh and Kennedy entered the building and went down to the basement where the fire started.
"They weren't in the building more than two or three minutes when they alerted mayday that they were trapped," Boston Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Finn said Wednesday night at a press conference.
They were found within an hour.
The fire is under investigation, but Finn believes a window broke, causing the fire to become active, quickly escalating to a nine-alarm fire in the four-story brick brownstone. He says after 30 years on the job, he's never seen a fire escalate so quickly.
"It was a very fast moving fire," he said. "The weather conditions certainly played a major role in this fire."
He said 150 firefighters were on scene and in addition to the deaths of Walsh and Kennedy, 13 were injured with burns and broken bones, said to not be life threatening.
"Citizens were saved," Boston Firefighters Local Union 718 president said. "And that's what we do. We sacrifice our lives for the City of Boston. That's what Firefighter Michael Kennedy and Lieutenant Eddie Walsh did today."
Kennedy was pronounced dead at the hospital and Wash was pronounced dead on scene, removed from the basement by his fellow firefighters. He was saluted and taken on his last ride.
Walsh had been a Boston firefighter for almost 10 years. Kennedy had been on the job for almost seven years.
Gov. Deval Patrick issued a statement tonight sending his condolences to the families of the firefighters. In part, it states, "This terrible tragedy reinforces how we must be grateful every single day for the brave men and women who put themselves in danger day in and day out to keep us safe."
Copyright 2014 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.