10 years later, all's quiet on Grove Street.


Byline: Steven H. Foskett Jr.

WORCESTER - Firefighters William J. Lynch and Jose A.Vega sat at a table in the back of the Grove Street Fire Station last night, reading the paper.

Firefighters Joseph Leardi and Paul J. Fullen sat in the front of the firehouse, and later wandered over to the table.

Firefighter Robert Carpenter stuck around the kitchen, tending to a large pot of rice and checking the internal temperature of a rather large and delicious-smelling pork loin.

There was extra food for dinner last night and extra room in the garage, because five other firefighters - Lt. John Dawidczyk, Stephen Gaffney, Patrick C. Loughnane, Tim King Jr. and James Bombard - had taken Engine 3 to the memorial service at the Franklin Street station.

That those firefighters had left for Franklin Street was about the only connection the station had to the ceremony and remembrances going on yesterday to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the loss of six firefighters - four of whom actually went to the fire from the Grove Street station - in the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. fire Dec. 3, 1999.

Firefighter Lynch and the rest of the crew were simply on duty last night, waiting for dinner, waiting for a call.

For a moment, firefighters stopped talking around 6 p.m. when the initial call from the warehouse fire was repeated over the radio, but only because they wanted to make sure it wasn't an actual call. Once they figured out it was part of the anniversary, they simply continued the conversation.

The firefighters from Engine 16 and Ladder 2 had just arrived at work and were settling in for a night shift. Nobody seemed to notice...

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