WORCESTER (CBS) – A New York based organization devoted to helping the families of fallen officers and firefighters is now pledging to help the family of Worcester fire Lt. Jason Menard. Attending the announcement at Menard’s firehouse Friday was Cindy Chesna, the widow of Weymouth police Sgt. Michael Chesna who was killed in the line of duty last year.

“The support they are going to have is unbelievable. That’s what got me by,” Chesna said.

Part of that support is now being offered by the foundation Tunnel2Towers to help the Menard family pay off their mortgage and ease some of their burden. It was formed in honor of New York firefighter Stephen Siller who died trying to save others on 9/11.

Cindy Chesna (WBZ-TV)

“What’s better than taking care of families who pay the ultimate sacrifice,” said Stephen’s brother Frank Siller who is the CEO of Tunnel2Towers.

Cindy Chesna received the same support. “It’s a huge relief knowing that big bill you have is taken care of. Just take it day by day the pain is always there,” said Chesna.

At the fire scene on Stockholm Street investigators continue the painstaking work of sifting through debris to find a cause of the fire which Worcester County District Attorney Joe Early says will take some time. “We got to let ATF, state police, Worcester police and everyone involved in this do their job,” Early said.

The memorial outside Lt. Menard’s McKeon Road firehouse is still a focal point for reflection as the department prepares for Monday’s funeral. Also on their minds is Firefighter Christopher Pace, with burns and broken bones, who was one of the men saved by Lt. Menard.

Worcester Firefighter Christopher Pace (Image credit City of Worcester)

Pace remains hospitalized in stable condition. “Physically he’s going to recover, but mentally it’s going to be a struggle,” said Worcester Fire Chief Mike Lavoie.

Tunnel2Towers is hoping to raise the money for the Menard family by Christmas and is pledging to donate the first $100,000 toward the mortgage.

The City of Worcester has also established the Menard Children’s Fund to benefit the family. Donations can be made through the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts website.

Checks made payable to “PFFM Foundation c/o The Menard Children’s Fund” can also be mailed to:
Worcester Fire Department Credit Union
34 Glennie St.
Worcester, MA 01605

Beth Germano

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