APRIL 1, 2014, St. Louis, Missouri…A somber team of firefighters and paramedics from the Monarch Fire Protection District in Chesterfield are attending funeral services this week in Boston to honor two members of the Boston Fire Department killed in the line of duty when an explosive fire trapped the men a four-story building on March 26.

“We are here to pay our respects and honor our brave brethren who died horrific deaths while doing their jobs,” said Andrew Shoop, firefighter/paramedic with the Professional Firefighters of Eastern Missouri Local 2665 serving the Monarch District.

“This is a sad day for the families of our fallen comrades and for every firefighter/paramedic across America, yet it is a day of glory because those brave men died as heroes,” Shoop said.

An estimated 10,000 firefighters from across the nation are in Boston this week to mourn the deaths of Boston Fire Department Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh Jr. of and Firefighter Michael R. Kennedy.

“Times like these remind us and citizens whom we serve that firefighting is a profession that can kill at any moment, robbing people of their friends and family,” said Shoop. “Our Monarch team is proud to be members of the Professional Firefighters of Eastern Missouri Local 2665 who serve people in the Chesterfield, Missouri region and proud to pay our respects to the Boston Fire Department and their fallen heroes.”

The two men died battling an inferno that tore through a Boston apartment building, causing a fiery explosion that trapped them in the basement where they desperately called for help as their water ran low despite frantic attempts to save them. “The fire escalated very quickly; in 30 years, I’ve never seen a fire travel that fast, escalate that quickly, and cause such havoc.” said Boston Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Finn.

Fanned by wind gusts, the nine-alarm fire in Boston blasted up from the basement of the four-story apartment building, triggering a powerful explosion that sent people running and screaming into the street. Authorities said the cause of the fire remains under investigation, but that wind blowing off the Charles River caused it to rage out of control within minutes, engulfing the Beacon Street neighborhood in a thick cloud of black smoke.

The Monarch Fire Protection District and its Firefighters/Paramedics serve approximately 63 square miles across large parts of Chesterfield, Ballwin, Clarkson Valley, Creve Coeur, Maryland Heights and Wildwood, plus parts of unincorporated St. Louis County, Missouri.

For more information, contact Andrew Shoop at 636 278 0279 or Andrew T. Stecko at 636 368 6123.

Professional Firefighters of Eastern Missouri Local 2665