WORCESTER (CBS) – One year later, the grieving family of a fallen Worcester firefighter still mourns his loss. The pain is also shared by the entire community, which came together to remember Fire Lt. Jason Menard. A 39-year-old husband and father of three, Lt. Menard died heroically in a terrible house fire on Stockholm Street, saving the lives of fellow firefighters pushing one of them out a window to safety.
“It is difficult to move past the pain of losing Jay one year ago today,” said Worcester Fire Chief Michael Lavoie. “One thing that can help is to remember Lt. Jason Menard for the heroism he showed on that fateful day.” Lt. Menard’s family laid a wreath in his memory as a firefighter rang a bell in tribute to a fallen comrade.
Because of the pandemic, the ceremony was closed to the public, but it was streamed live on the city’s website. During normal times, such an event would have a huge turnout. But the emotions of people like City Councilor Kate Toomey were just as strong as she recounted Lt. Menard’s bravery. “His heroic actions in saving a fellow firefighter were amazing. And I just can’t say enough,” Toomey said.
Jason Menard was many things. A family man. A devoted firefighter. A friend. Worcester Fire Union official Michael Papagni gave emotional remarks saying, “We love Jay. We talk about him, we laugh. We remember him fondly. And every day in our firehouse, all across Worcester, we honor him…..And his spirit, lives forever in our firehouses.”