WORCESTER (CBS) – A solemn ceremony was held Tuesday to mark the 20th anniversary of the Worcester Cold Storage fire that claimed the lives of six firefighters.
Lt. Thomas Spencer, Lt. James Lyons, and firefighters Paul Brotherton, Timothy Jackson, Jeremiah Lucey and Joseph McGuirk died while looking for homeless people believed to be inside the vacant warehouse.
A large crowd of firefighters and residents attended the ceremony that started with firefighters marching from Union Station to the Franklin Street station.
After the procession, hundreds paused for moment of silence at 6:13 p.m., the exact time of the first alarm for that deadly fire.
Worcester firefighters on the job that day remember it vividly. “Came down here and saw the fire, and I don’t think I went home for eight or nine days after that,” said retired firefighter Steve Favulli. “Things had to be done.”
The city puts on a memorial service every year for the Worcester 6, and in the wake of losing Lt. Jason Menard in a fire less than a month ago, the fire chief said this year is especially hard.
“To tell you the truth, December, it’s not good. Personally I’ve had a bad couple days, I don’t like winter. I don’t like the weather,” Fire Chief Michael Lavoie said. “And then you know, we have to come out and do this every year. But we have to do it. Because we have to honor those that have gone before us. We lost six guys 20 years ago, and we can never forget.”
The families of the Worcester 6 placed wreaths at the memorial honoring the firefighters. It is built on the ground where that deadly fire took place 20 years ago.
The Worcester 6 have left an incredible legacy, seven of their sons are now firefighters.