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Burlington Firefighters Head to Boston to Show Support

A 4 a.m. fire called for a rapid response from the Burlington Fire Department.
BURLINGTON, Vt. -  A 4 a.m. fire called for a rapid response from the Burlington Fire Department. 

The 20 man overnight team immediately started battling the Union Street blaze. As the fire took control of the top two floors, Assistant Fire Marshall Joe Keenan says more firefighters needed to be called in. 

By 6:30 p.m. the extra help paid off; the fire was surpressed and the apartment building was saved.

For some of these fire fighters there were no plans to stay in Burlington Wednesday. They were headed to Boston to show their support for two of the city's bravest that died battling a fire last week.

"We met at three o'clock this morning at Central Fire Station and seven of us were headed to Boston to attend the funeral of Lt. Ed Walsh," Keenan said. 

"We made it as far as Waterbury when we got the call back and the second alarm."

The crew from Burlington turned around to do their job, the same work that killed Lt. Ed Walsh and firefighter Michael Kennedy in Back Bay, Boston.

"It hits very close to home you know the guys in Boston have ties between Burlington and Boston," Keenan said. "Some of our members know their members in that fire house."

The ties among Vermont Fire stations is strong too. When burlignton got the call stations in surrounding towns staffed up to act as back up. Other stations also sent firefighters.

Three from burlington ended up making it for the funeral. The rest send their support. In Boston, they know why they had to stay behind.

"We've got a responsibility to the city to our members here," Keenan said. "We did have some go down for representing but there'll be thousands of other fire fighters down there to commemorate their heroism."

On Thursday, The remembrance of the fallen firefighters will continue. The funeral for Michael Kennedy is at 11 a.m. at Holy Name Church.
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