Related: Center in Westminster helps firefighters, service workers manage aftermath

  • Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette
  • Published: 11/30/2019 05:14 PM

When Fire Chief Michael J. Lavoie suggests there’s no shame in seeking help for tragedies firefighters encounter, he speaks from his experience looking for colleagues in the rubble of the Cold Storage & Warehouse fire on Dec. 3, 1999. One of 101 city firefighters still with the department 20 years after the tragic blaze claimed six firefighters, Lavoie spoke of how his feelings about seeking therapy have evolved two decades later. The fire claimed Lt. Thomas Spencer, 42, of Worcester, Lt. James Lyons, 34, of Worcester; and firefighters Paul Brotherton, 41, of Auburn, Timothy Jackson, 51, of Hopedale, Jeremiah Lucey, 38, of Leicester, and Joseph McGuirk, 38, of Worcester. About the search, Lavoie said, “They had this big staging area where all the firefighters would stand and freeze and wait to be called to go to what we called ‘the deck,’ ” the building’s first-floor concrete slab.


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