Fire officials, hit with a scathing federal report criticizing the department in the deaths of two firefighters in 2014, said they are preparing to sue the manufacturer of a diesel engine now in more than a dozen problem-plagued city fire trucks in order to thwart future disasters.
Fire Commissioner Joseph E. Finn fought back tears yesterday while saying a “perfect storm for a tragedy” led to the deaths of fire Lt. Edward Walsh Jr. and firefighter Michael R. Kennedy on March 26, 2014, in a Back Bay brownstone as a wind-whipped blaze engulfed the building.
But Finn blamed budget cuts under the administration of the late Mayor Thomas M. Menino for forcing fire officials to put the replacement of equipment ahead of proper training and staffing.
Finn said he is working with the city’s lawyer to file a lawsuit against Navistar International, the company that created the MaxxForce engines inside some of the department’s vehicles. “There’s 47 lawsuits across the country attributed to this engine and a number of class-action lawsuits and we’re going to be joining that,” Finn said last night.