The remains of three of the six firefighters killed in a huge warehouse blaze were found today, ending eight days of digging through rubble by firefighters for their fallen comrades.
Paul A. Brotherton, 41, whose body was discovered tonight, was the sixth firefighter found. Officials said he was among the first two firefighters who went into the building Dec. 3 to search for homeless people, and family members believe it was his voice heard crying out, "Mayday! Mayday! We're running out of air," over the radio.
"It's a very difficult day, but hopefully it's one more step towards closure," state Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said before the funeral of firefighter Timothy P. Jackson, 51, whose body was found two days after the blaze.
Early today, the body of Lt. Thomas E. Spencer, 42, was found in the middle of the collapsed ruins of the five-story, brick warehouse, said District Chief Walter Giard.
Later, the body of Jeremiah M. Lucey, 38, was discovered near an exterior wall, Giard said.
On the day of the fire, two firefighters entered the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. building looking for homeless people who lived there. They became overwhelmed by smoke and called for help. Four members of a search party sent to find them disappeared in the midst of the fire.
Jackson's remains were discovered last Sunday. The remains of James Lyons III, 34, were recovered Wednesday. On Friday night, the body of Joseph T. McGuirk, 38, was found not far from where Spencer's body was found.
A homeless couple accused of accidentally starting the blaze by knocking over a candle have pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Thomas S. Levesque, 37, and Julie Ann Barnes, 19, were jailed in lieu of $1 million bail.