Several Boston sports stars expressed their condolences and sorrow about the Back Bay fire that killed two Boston firefighters.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady lives in the area and was photographed near the scene. He posted a message on Facebook on Wednesday night, and spoke about what he saw and experienced in an interview on WEEI Thursday morning.
“I looked out of the front of our house and could see the flames, and then kind of went back to my room, and then went back about two minutes later and just saw it growing, and at that point I had gone to the back part of my house and from my deck I could see kind of what they were up against,” Brady said. “At that point, all the fire engines were coming down the street. I was watching for obviously a long time, and then at one point I saw a pretty big explosion of flames and a lot of the firemen were coming out of the building, and that’s when I really got nervous.”
Brady said when he saw firefighters leaving the building as the fire escalated, he decided it was time for his family to leave. Brady, his wife, Gisele Bundchen, and their children moved to a friend’s home down the street.
“Our lives were never in jeopardy at all, thanks to those men,” Brady said.
Brady said seeing it firsthand gave him new perspective.
“You realize a lot of your things, your house, could just be gone, and you’ve got to think about obviously our lives is what’s most important,” he said. “You know, the firemen who risked their lives, that’s who I just can’t pay enough respect toward.”
Other Boston athletes and teams also expressed their sentiments, on social media and in interviews. Boston Fire Department Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh and Firefighter Michael R. Kennedy died in the nine-alarm blaze at 298 Beacon St.
Before the Celtics faced the Toronto Raptors at TD Garden, a moment of silence was observed and a message displayed on the video screen read, “In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice or were injured in today’s fire in the Back Bay.”
The fire was on the minds of the Boston Bruins as they prepared for a game Thursday against the Blackhawks.
“It’s obviously very heartbreaking with what happened. But they were obviously very courageous people and they saved a lot of lives. It just shows how incredible the people of our city are, always trying to help each other out. Obviously our thoughts, prayers go out to their families,” Bruins winger Brad Marchand said.
Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork posted a photo of his message on Twitter:
“My family and I would like to send our deepest condolences to the Kennedy and Walsh families. After losing both of my parents at a young age and just this Saturday I lost my last grandparent, my heart hurts for the firefighters who lost their lives today saving others. My prayers for their families.”
Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester said on Twitter: “Devastating news out of Boston. Thoughts and prayers go out to the Walsh and kennedy families, and the entire @BostonFire community. #Heroes.” Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino and Patriots receiver Julian Edelman posted similar messages.
“Those kinds of things, it’s just it’s sad to see those kinds of things happen, especially when people are trying to save other people’s lives. And we all know that when they take those jobs on there’s that risk, but it really touches the city,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the team’s morning skate Thursday. “This city is pretty sensitive when it comes to that stuff and very supportive of all those situations. We’re no different in here, you know, we come in this morning and guys are talking to other guys and some of the players didn’t live too far from that area as well. But certainly a sad tragedy to have happen. I was watching TV last night and my heart goes out to the families.”Globe reporter Amalie Benjamin contributed to this report. Follow Matt Pepin on Twitter at @mattpep15.