5:45 a.m. Thirteen additional firefighters were also injured, reports CNN (http://cnn.it/1loasOq). Their injuries are described as some having broken bones, others having burns.
“In 30 years, I’ve never seen a fire travel that fast, escalate that quickly, and create such havoc in such a short period of time,” Deputy Fire Chief Joe Finn told reporters.
According to Finn, firefighters were able to rescue a number of people stuck on upper floors.
He said Walsh and Kennedy became trapped soon after entering the building. They were both later located in the basement, where the fire appears to have started.
At one point, there was an explosion and a number of firefighters were blown down stairs, Finn said.
8:30 p.m. The firefighters killed were identified as Lt. Edward J. Walsh, 43, of West Roxbury — and father of three — and Firefighter Michael R. Kennedy, 33, of Hyde Park, a Marine veteran, reports The Boston Herald (http://bit.ly/1dOSqNg)
Both men were from Engine 33, one of the first two units to respond to the fire and 298 Beacon St. Both were found in the basement where they were mortally wounded.
Deputy Chief Joseph Finn said tonight at a press conference that the wind was whipping so fast off the Charles River it was like a “blowtorch.”
Original Story: The Boston Globe (http://b.globe.com/1dOejML) reports that two firefighters were killed today from a 9-alarm fire in a rowhouse in the city’s Back Bay neighborhood.
Firefighters responded at 2:43 p.m. to the four-story brick rowhouse, where a fire was spreading upward from the basement, fanned by winds gusting up to 45 miles per hour.
Details of how the firefighters died weren’t immediately available. But some firefighters had been trapped in the burning building’s basement, officials said.
A total of 18 people were transported to the hospital, Boston Emergency Medical Services spokesman Nick Martin said. Martin said he had no information on their conditions or whether they were firefighters or civilians.
Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald told reporters at the scene earlier that three firefighters had been injured, one of them seriously.
Earlier coverage: FIREFIGHTERS TRAPPED, INJURED AT 9-ALARM BOSTON FIRE