Several weeks ago a fire destroyed an apartment building in downtown Boston. Two fire fighters died while fighting it. Investigators believe it was started by sparks from a welding job being done on a neighboring building.

Excerpts from

The owner of the Back Bay apartment building destroyed by a nine-alarm fire that killed two firefighters last month is suing a welding company it says was responsible for the blaze.

Law enforcement officials have said that the welding company — identified in the lawsuit as D&J Iron Works in Malden — failed to get a permit from the City of Boston for work on a railing next door to the building that burned down. Applying for a permit would have required the welders to have outside supervision to ensure the work was done safely.

The lawsuit accuses the welding company of failing to keep a fire extinguisher at the site or placing fire resistant shields or guards over anything that could be combustible.


On March 26, strong winds whipped through the city as welders from D&J Iron Works worked behind 296 Beacon St. Fire investigators later determined that sparks from the welding work flew to the clapboards on 298 Beacon, where they smoldered, eventually igniting the massive fire that destroyed the eight-unit building and trapped Lieutenant Edward Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy in the basement. The two firefighters were among the first to respond to the scene.


In obtaining a permit, a welding company typically agrees to have a “fire watch” present, a firefighter or someone else knowledgeable in preventing and stopping fires. That fire watch must remain at the scene for at least 30 minutes after the work is completed to make sure flames are not sparked, according to Fire Department regulations.