Our youngest members were probably between 5-10 years old, our now more "seasoned" members were proby firefighters trying to learn, fit in, be a sponge, etc. But it's been 15 years since that cold night in Worcester, Massachusetts and if you're reading this without any idea of what I am talking about or a foggy mind I encourage you to take an hour or two from your busy holiday season and web search Worcester Cold Storage".
It sat as a hulking building windowless and a reminder of days gone by, it kept items cold and ready for transport its walls lined with cork, tar and insulating foam to insulate and this helped in the rapid smoke buildup. Lucey, Lyons, Spencer, Brotherton, McGuirk, & Jackson from the WFD would respond and never come home.
Get out today or next duty day and look at your "Worcester Cold Storage" buildings, they exist in every community, they are traps set for your department but we can outsmart them with dedication, education, and a passion to know your buildings! If you are in a command position further search the name Chief Mike Mcnamee, he was a boss that night at that fire and his leadership saved more firefighters from being injured or killed. After you read his story for the first time or as a refresher, ask yourself one simple question, "what would you have done".
Again, it is not my intent to review the fire or outline it that is your job today, my blog is simply to jar your mind and help you remember, especially since I am an "old timer" and many who read this are young and it's our job to keep paying it forward. Please take a pause at 1745 today, December 3rd and review this event as an honor to yourself, our service, and our lost Brothers.
Be Safe and Never Forget