Deadly Boston Fire Caused by Weld Sparks
More About How the Blaze Started
Boston fire commissioner John Hassan held a press conference today to announce the findings of an investigation into what caused last week’s nine-alarm fire. Workers from an unnamed welding company are believed to have been performing work on a back fence. Authorities believe that sparks from the welders’ torches got into the building and were fanned by strong winds.
Hassan said investigators began focusing on the welding company after welding tools were found in the rubble. It is believed that the workers were aware of the fire but did not alert anyone before fleeing the scene.
The welding company doing the work did not obtain the proper permits required by Boston city statutes.
Two firefighters were killed while trying to fight the blaze.
No Criminally Negligent Homicide Statute in MA
The Suffolk County District Attorney’s office will make the determination if criminal charges can be filed against the welding company. Massachusetts does not currently have a criminally negligent statute which might make pressing charges difficult.
Sen. Ken Donnelly has vowed to file a bill which would make contractors accountable for construction code lapses that result in the death of a firefighter. Donnelly could base the legislation off New York’s current criminally negligent statute.
Welding Fire Statistics
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), on average over 5,000 structure fires each year are caused by torches, burners and soldering equipment. These fires cause an estimated 10 civilian fatalities, 210 civilian injuries and $255 million in property damage each year.