Federal agency investigating blaze that killed Worcester fire lieutenant

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health confirmed it is investigating the November fire that killed Worcester Fire Lt. Jason Menard


Melissa Hanson
MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass.

WORCESTER, Mass. — Almost a month after Worcester Fire Lt. Jason Menard was killed in a four-alarm fire, a federal agency has confirmed it is investigating the blaze.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, or NIOSH, is investigating the Nov. 13 blaze at 7 Stockholm St., agency spokeswoman Nura Sadeghpour confirmed Wednesday. The investigation is part of the agency’s Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program.

Worcester Fire Lt. Jason Menard died in November while searching for people he believed were trapped on the third floor of a burning building. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is now investigating the fire.
Worcester Fire Lt. Jason Menard died in November while searching for people he believed were trapped on the third floor of a burning building. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is now investigating the fire. (Photo/Worcester Fire Department Facebook)

Officials have not said what caused the blaze, but a search warrant filed in Worcester District Court indicated that tenants said they saw flames in a second-floor heater.

Menard and other members of Ladder 5 ran into the burning building in the early hours of Nov. 13 after getting reports of a mother and baby trapped inside. The Worcester fire chief said it appears the mother and child got out of the three-decker before the firefighters went in.

As flames took over the third floor, Menard pushed fellow firefighter Chris Pace out the window to safety.

Menard, who joined the Worcester Fire Department in 2010, was promoted to lieutenant last year. He was a member of Ladder 5, Group 2 and assigned to the McKeon Road Fire Station. He leaves his high school sweetheart, Tina, and their three children.

Meanwhile, NIOSH is also investigating the blaze that killed Worcester Firefighter Christopher Roy on Dec. 9, 2018.

NIOSH investigations can take months or years. The Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program by NIOSH is intended to help provide information to prevent future fatalities by identifying factors that contributed to firefighter deaths. The program is not intended to enforce compliance with regulations or assess culpability.

The agency investigated the Dec. 3, 1999, Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. fire that claimed the lives of six firefighters. The “Worcester 6" were remembered during a memorial ceremony last week on the 20th anniversary of the fire. The agency also investigated the Dec. 8, 2011 fire that claimed the life of Worcester Firefighter Jon Davies Sr.

A memorial fund for Menard’s family has been established by the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts Foundation. Donations can be made online and 100 percent of the funds will go to the future needs of Menard’s children.

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©2019 MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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