SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

May 9, 2014

MDA honors a Salem firefighter hero

SALEM — One of the good guys was honored this week.

Firefighter Pat Burke received the Massachusetts 2014 Above and Beyond Award from the Muscular Dystrophy Association in a ceremony Monday at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.

Burke was honored for coordinating a fund drive by Salem Firefighters Local 172 that raised $5,000 last year for MDA, and for organizing a group of Salem and Marblehead firefighters to help a Salem man diagnosed with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, move into his new home.

The group of firefighters volunteered its time over several weeks to paint all eight rooms in the Salem home.

“Pat embodies the character of a true hero,” said MDA Area Director Vanessa Malfitano. “He has a sense of compassion and service to the community that is demonstrated through his commitment to MDA families.”

Dow Street fire

There is a story behind the fire early Tuesday morning that damaged an apartment building on Dow Street.

That building had a brick fire wall that prevented the blaze from traveling to the rest of the large apartment building.

Do you know why it had a fire wall?

Because it was built a few years after the Salem Fire of 1914, which destroyed much of the downtown and leveled that entire Point neighborhood.

That monster fire spurred a lot of changes in fire and building codes, according to Building Inspector Tom St. Pierre.

Road memorial

The family of Jonathan Acosta of Lynn posted a sign this week on Marlborough Road where the young man was struck and killed in November.

Acosta and another pedestrian, who was also hit, were crossing on a Saturday night at what police described as a blind curve in the road.

Acosta’s family put up the sign to honor his memory and “to ensure this never happens again.”

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