Fallen Worcester firefighter remembered 8 years after line-of-duty death

A memorial ceremony was held Sunday for Worcester Firefighter Jon Davies Sr., who died when part of a burning building collapsed in 2011


Kim Ring
Telegram & Gazette, Worcester, Mass.

WORCESTER, Mass. - Despite freezing temperatures, they gathered.

It was not the year of a big anniversary like the first or the fifth, but still, they came to mark another year passed, another year since they have seen their friend, their colleague, their brother.

Two members of Firefighter Jon Davies' crew, Rescue 1 Group 4, carry a wreath to place next to the memorial at the Franklin Street fire station on Sunday, the eighth anniversary of Davies' death in the line of duty. (Photo/Dylan Azari)
Two members of Firefighter Jon Davies' crew, Rescue 1 Group 4, carry a wreath to place next to the memorial at the Franklin Street fire station on Sunday, the eighth anniversary of Davies' death in the line of duty. (Photo/Dylan Azari)

On the eighth anniversary of the death of Worcester Firefighter Jon Davies Sr., more than 150 friends, family and firefighters huddled for a brief ceremony outside the Franklin Street fire station, where Davies served on Rescue 1 with his friend and partner, Brian Carroll.

Davies and Carroll were caught in a collapse as they searched for a person believed trapped inside an Arlington Street apartment during an early morning fire. Both were pinned beneath debris. Carroll was rescued, and he recovered. Davies succumbed to his injuries. The person believed to be trapped, it turned out, was not inside.

Since Davies' death, the spate of firefighter deaths in the cold months at the waning end of the year have continued. On Tuesday the city will note the 1-year anniversary of the death of Firefighter Christopher Roy.

And on Nov. 13, Lt. Jason Menard was killed in a fire on Stockholm Street.

On Dec. 3, Worcester marked two decades since the Cold Storage warehouse fire claimed six firefighters: Lt. Thomas Spencer, Lt. James Lyons, Timothy Jackson, Paul Brotherton, Jeremiah Lucey and Joseph McGuirk.

Davies was a 17-year-veteran of the Fire Department. He was remembered with prayers, music from bagpipes, and the laying of a wreath near a memorial at the Franklin Street station.

"We pray that you move our hearts to be never forgetful of his courageous actions that fateful morning," the Rev. Walter Riley prayed aloud. "Bless all Jon's family, and in a special way, his sons who walk in his footsteps as firefighters. May his spirit guide them and lead them."

Fire Chief Michael Lavoie said Davies was doing what firefighters "are here to do" when he lost his life trying to help a resident.

While city officials did not speak, Mayor Joseph Petty said after the memorial he is thankful for the firefighters and for the support from across the community, the state and the country.

He said he worries about the firefighters doing their dangerous jobs and noted that a team of experts steps in to help firefighters and their families cope with the emotional toll the losses can take.

"Right down to the firefighters, you worry about every single one of them," he said.

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©2019 Telegram & Gazette, Worcester, Mass.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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