Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Finn identified the two as Lt. Edward J. Walsh and firefighter Michael R. Kennedy.
Finn says he has never seen a fire travel so fast and escalate so quickly and he believes that was because of strong winds off the nearby Charles River. He says firefighters rescued people from the upper floors of the multi-unit building in the Back Bay neighborhood Wednesday. No civilians were hurt.
Finn says Walsh and Kennedy went inside the building and then into the basement, where it appears the fire started. They called a mayday two or three minutes after entering but couldn't be saved.
There will be an investigation. But Finn says all indications are the fire was accidental.