Lieutenant Stephen F. Minehan
Boston Fire Department
Stephen was a firefighter long before he was appointed to the Boston Fire Department in October of 1974. He was the third generation of Minehan firefighters in Boston. His grandfather, Mike Minehan, was a Chief. His dad Alfred Minehan was a firefighter as well. Stephen spent much of his childhood and teen years in and out of firehouses sparking (buffing) chasing fires, whatever terminology you may be familiar with. So as far as Stephen was concerned, from a young age he knew when he grew up he was going to be a firefighter, and that he was for almost 20 years.
A lieutenant on the Boston Fire Department, Stephen Minehan was killed in the line-of-duty on June 24th, 1994. He lost his life while fighting a nine-alarm fire in the Charlestown section of Boston. Responding to the fire, Steve and his crew of Ladder 15 were immediately sent into the building on a rescue mission, along with other members of the department. Their goal was to find two fellow firefighters who were missing and, at last check, had little air left in their air tanks.
Throughout the early morning, these men were found and rescued, though both were in severe need of hyperbaric chambers. As the brave crew of Ladder 15 was exiting the building, they came to the sobering realization that Lt. Minehan had not come out with them. Somehow, instead of exiting the building, Steve found himself alone, walking further in. What happened in that crucial moment really is not clear and may never be; but that morning at 7:30 am Steveís body was recovered by the very men he was proud to lead.
From that point on life as we knew it was forever changed.
Steve was just a couple of months short of twenty years of service in Boston. Along with the legacy of a grown man whose heart still leapt when he heard sirens, Steve left behind a family he loved more than anything in the world. He left his wife, Kathy, of 20 years; and he was the proud father of four children: Kelley 17, Joseph 15, Meghan 13 and Kaitlin 11. He also left behind six siblings, their spouses and many nieces and nephews. This year will mark the 13th anniversary of his death, and not a day goes by that he is not thought of in one way or another.