Arrogance risks lives of heroes

By April 11, 2014Uncategorized

A week after the city buried two heroic firefighters, nobody should be thinking about parking in front of a fire hydrant.

And the $100 fine for doing so is ridiculous.

They should revoke the license of the hydrant jerk who parked his BMW in front of the fireplug needed for Wednesday night’s eight-alarm blaze in East Boston. Luckily nobody got seriously hurt.

Haven’t we learned anything from the deaths of Lt. Edward J. Walsh Jr. and firefighter Michael R. Kennedy? Both sacrificed their lives in the Beacon Street fire two weeks ago. It was a wind-driven blaze that was whipped into an inferno that trapped the two firefighters and injured about a dozen others.

This week’s fire in Eastie had alarming similarities to the Back Bay blaze — windy conditions, flames shooting out the windows upon arrival and houses side-by-side. Still, the city’s first-responders — who run into danger, not away from it — didn’t hesitate in either case.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh said it best: “Anytime I get a call for a fire in Boston, it will be different for me forever. I know for the firefighters it’s still fresh. … Not even a week yet they buried two brothers.”

The Herald’s photo by staff photographer Mark Garfinkel showing a fire hose smashed through the front windows of the BMW parked next to a hydrant on Trenton Street right next to the fire scene on Lexington Street the other night has spread on social media. I’m glad. The photo is the perfect public service announcement.

Take a hard look. Minutes, even seconds, matter when it comes to life, death and flames. Firefighters had to waste time moving the BMW — yes, a video taken by a bystander shows they had to muscle the car a few inches away from the curb. Then they had to hook up the fire hose and bust the windows to extend the line to the crews who desperately needed the water.

Maybe it’s time to increase the fines —say $500, even $1,000 a pop — for blocking a hydrant. What matters most? A prime parking spot or somebody’s life?

This is not a joke. Sure, BMW owners may be labeled as smug or aloof, so some may be enjoying a touch of schadenfreude — taking delight in someone else’s bad luck.

So the joke is on him for having his windows smashed out. But we’re told the insurance will pick up the tab and this owner will be back roaming the streets of Boston hunting for parking spots.

Yet, I bet he won’t park next to a hydrant anytime soon.

Adriana Cohen is co-host of Boston Herald Radio’s “Trending Now” show.

 

About Adriana Cohen

Adriana Cohen is host of the “Adriana Cohen Show” heard Wednesdays at noon on Boston Herald Radio. Follow her on Twitter @AdrianaCohen16.