-Worcester Six – Worcester Cold Storage Fire-
20 years ago on December 3rd, 1999 six Worcester firefighters died while fighting the Worcester Cold Storage Fire. I was there that night as a staff photographer at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette in Worcester, Mass. What I thought was a routine 3 alarm fire at the abandoned warehouse just a few blocks from the newspaper. I had photographed a few smoking but quick fires at this location before. Little did I know it would be become a devastating night in Worcester. I spent weeks to months covering stories with the talented T&G staff there as we tried to tell the story of the loss of these six brave men. It feels like it just happened. I can still remember that night and everything I saw, the smell, the sounds and the panic-despair on the faces all those firefighters as they tried to find their brothers. So many details still come back to me as I look at these images. While I hated to be the storyteller that night, I know photographic history like this does has its importance in our world.
What I can not write in my words, I could tell with my eyes for all to see.
Never forget the Worcester Six
Firefighter Paul A. Brotherton,
Lt. Timothy P. Jackson Sr.,
Firefighter Jeremiah M. Lucey
Lt. James F. Lyons III,
Firefighter Joseph T. McGuirk,
Lt. Thomas E. Spencer.
I’m no longer in the field of news photojournalism. I left my position as a staff photographer after 10 years when I welcomed my 2nd son in 2005 and a 3rd son just a year and half later. I still use my skills as a photojournalism to tell stories of families through my portrait photography. There isn’t a day that doesn’t go by that I don’t think about my news days and all that I had witnessed that night and months following.
The Leary Firefighters Foundation has put together amazing stories mini episodes behind the fire. You can watch episode one HERE Some of my images are always shown in the video.
For my photography friends. I was still film back then so these were photographed with my Nikon F100 , Fujifilm 70-200 mm and 17-35 mm lenses
Paula Ferazzi Swift T&G Staff Photographer © 1995-2005
Below are my photographs taken during the fire on December 3rd, 1999, weeks following up to September 16th, 2000 with the raw captions attached on the files used for the newspaper and Associated Press.
All photographs are ©Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Paula Ferazzi Swift/ Staff Photographer
TGLOCAL: Denis Leary, Cam Neely, Bobby Orr and Derekk Sanderson gather
at the Worcester Fire Dept to announce the Leary Foundation to raise money for the Worcester Fire Dept. (Paula Ferazzi Swift/ T&G STAFF )
Worcester Firefighters hold flags encased in glass that were presented to the families of the 6 fallen at the 14 th Annual IAFF Fallen Firefighter Memorial held in Colorado Spring, CO. (Paula Ferazzi Swift/ T&G STAFF )
Paula Ferazzi Swift, a former staff photojournalist at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette newspaper in Worcester, MA 1995-2005 also holds two college degrees in the field of photography. Paula Ferazzi Swift was there the night of the deadly Worcester Cold Storage fire which took the lives of six brave Worcester Firefighters.
Paula Swift Photography has won awards for her newborn, baby, children, family, maternity and high school photography through the Professional Photographers of America, and Professional Photographers Association of Massachusetts . You will find Paula Swift Photography’s beautiful new studio in Sudbury MA just about 20 miles west of the city of Boston. Paula Swift also travels throughout Massachusetts and New England for on location sessions. Paula’s photography specialties include maternity photography, newborn photography, baby photography, children photography, family photography, high school senior photography engagement photography, sports photography, and freelance photojournalism. Boston Family Photographer, MA Child Photographer and Award-winning Boston Photojournalist, Paula Swift Photography offers a wide range of photography skills for all her sessions. Paula Ferazzi Swift is the author of Storytelling Portrait Photography – How to Document the Lives of Children and Their Families Paula offers photography workshops in her storytelling portrait photography and studio newborn photography. See her workshop page above for more info. Paula Swift was a 2019, 2018 and 2014 Photographer of the Year Bronze Medalist by the Professional Photographers of America. www.ppa.com