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    Nine-alarm Boston fire: Back Bay blaze leaves two firefighters dead, 18 in hospital

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    Two firefighters died in Boston after a nine-alarm blaze stroke a four-story building in the historic Back Bay neighborhood.

    A nine alarm blaze is the highest level of severity, Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said.

    More than 150 firefighters arrived at the scene. They started searching the building for occupants when the blaze quickly escalated due to strong winds.

    All residents of the building were pulled to safety, while firefighters kept fighting to extinguish the fire.

    According to MacDonald, quoted by Reuters, the firefighters were trying to keep the blaze from spreading to neighboring buildings on a day when the city was buffeted by high winds.

    Eighteen of the firefighters were hospitalized while Lt. Edward Walsh, 43, and firefighter Michael Kennedy, 33, died after becoming trapped in the basement of the building.

    According to the New York Daily News, they were among the first two companies to respond to the fire.

    Walsh, of West Roxbury leaves a wife and three children, two boys and a girl, all younger than 10.

    A major roadway behind the burning building was closed by State police, impacting traffic, Reuters reported.


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