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Baltimore City Firefighters Join Thousands In Boston To Pay Respect To 2 Killed On Duty

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Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)— Baltimore City firefighters are in Boston to pay their respects to two firemen killed while responding to an intense fire at an apartment building.

Rochelle Ritchie spoke with city firefighters before they made the six-hour trip north.

It’s a somber and heartbreaking day in the city of Boston, where thousands of firefighters from across the nation have made their way onto the streets to pay their respects to two fallen firefighters: Lt. Ed Walsh and Michael Kennedy.

“Two distinguished firefighters lost, many injured doing a job that I think a lot of us take for granted everyday,” said Gov. Deval Patrick, D-Massachusetts.

Among the pool of firefighters and engines were members of the Baltimore City Fire Department who know all too well the pain of losing a fellow brother.

“Eric Schaefer and I worked together for several years, and the night he was killed on a Clipper Mill fire stands out in my mind,” said Dep. Chief Ken Zimmerman, Baltimore City Fire.

Schaefer was killed in the mid-90s. Dozens of others were severely injured after Clipper Mill turned into a ball of fire.

“There have been several line-of-duty deaths during my career, and Eric stands out,” Zimmerman said.

Walsh and Kennedy were tragically killed after responding to a fire last week, as they battled an inferno in the basement.

“Something happened via trapped, exploded, dropped down on them, I mean that will be part of the investigation,” a firefighter said.

While Charm City firefighters may have never worked along those in Beantown, they say the pain is universal.

“We all support each other. No hero is forgotten, paying the ultimate sacrifice,” said Tyler Tyson, Baltimore City Fire.

Walsh came from a generation of firefighters. Kennedy, a former Marine, dedicated his time to helping raise funds for burn survivors. Their deaths are harsh reminders of the dangers firefighters face everyday.

“For the grace of God it could be anyone of us,” Tyson said.

Thousands of firefighters from across the country are in Boston to honor the fallen firefighters. Among them are more than 100 men and women from Baltimore City.

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