“I still remember the smells that night, the sounds that night. That will always be there.” — Retired Worcester District Fire Chief Michael O. McNamee

On December 3, 1999, the Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse Fire took the lives of six firefighters.  Unless you are very, very new to the fire service you have already heard this horrific story.

Instead of telling it again, I would like to point your attention to an article I read a couple of years ago by Scott J. Croteau over at the Worcester Telegraph and Gazette.  It’s titled “A Chief’s Perspective” by retired Worcester District Fire Chief Michael O. McNamee. 

Click here to read it.

I hope you never have to go through his nightmare.

With trapped crews inside and after others had gone in to save them, Chief McNamee ordered that no more firefighters go in.  He was met with heated threats of physical violence by his firefighters on the scene, many demanding to allow them to go in to rescue their brothers. 

But he hung firm- and in doing so stopped that massive fire from killing any more of his men that night.  Could you have done the same?

Rest easy, our Brothers.

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John Mitchell

Firefighter/Paramedic and a Lieutenant in suburban Chicago

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