scorecardresearch Skip to main content

Mayor Walsh says he’s getting ‘too much credit’ for helping driver whose car caught fire

Boston Fire Dept./Twitter

Mayor Martin J. Walsh said Wednesday that he and his driver were receiving “too much credit” for coming to the aid of a Quincy man whose car engine caught fire the night before on Interstate 93.

“Thank God everything was OK,” Walsh told reporters after a public event. “You see these fires all the time that start in the engine, and then all of a sudden, next thing, the car’s up” in flames.

Walsh said he became alarmed when he saw the man’s vehicle traveling on the highway with sparks flying out from under the wheel.

“So I said to Joe, ‘We might want to pull them over,’ ” Walsh said, referring to Boston police Officer Joe Holmes, who serves on his security detail. “So he turned the lights on, and they went into the breakdown lane. And what happened was, there was some type of fire in the engine.”

Walsh said the man “got out of the car, got his stuff out of the car. We called the Fire Department, State Police showed up, and they hit it with an extinguisher.”


A reporter in the scrum noted that Walsh got “a lot of credit” for helping the man out.

“I know, my God,” Walsh said. “We got too much credit. [First responders] did the job.”

Walsh said the Quincy resident, whom he didn’t name, thanked him at the scene.

“He was grateful. He thought something was wrong with the car before,” Walsh said, describing the man as a “very gracious guy, very nice.”

Walsh said he believed the man was driving home from work and hadn’t attended the Patriots’ Super Bowl victory parade.

“Ironically, he had a football with him,” Walsh said. “I think he was working. He looked like he had his work bags and papers and stuff like that with him.”


Any member of the public, Walsh said, would have felt obligated to help in the moment.

“I think anybody who saw that situation, I think if you weren’t a police officer and you saw that situation, you would try to get that person to pull over somehow,” Walsh said. “You just get worried, I mean, if there’s kids or something in the car. . . . It’s what you should do.”

The incident unfolded near Exit 12 on Interstate 93 southbound shortly before 7 p.m. Tuesday night, according to the Boston Fire Department.

Brian Alkins, a department spokesman, said Tuesday that Walsh stayed with the driver of the car that caught fire until crews responded. There were no injuries.

The Fire Department also praised Walsh on Twitter.

“On his way home from Hosting 1.5 million #PatsNation fans @marty_walsh took time to pull over in the side of 93S to help a stranger whose car was on fire until we could arrive to extinguish the flames,” the department tweeted Tuesday night. “Thanks Mayor Walsh #LookToBoston.”

In a separate tweet Tuesday, a man named Jim Geraghty identified himself as the driver of the car that caught fire and expressed his gratitude to the mayor.

“Thank you Mayor Marty Walsh!” Geraghty wrote. “I am home safe and it was [an] honor to meet you! Jim.”

Danny McDonald of the Globe Staff contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.