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Steve Minehan – A Lifelong Boston Firefighter
Steve Minehan was a loving husband and father. Additionally, he spent nearly 20 years serving in Boston Fire Department as lieutenant.
On June 24, 1994, his career ended suddenly when he was tragically killed while trying to rescue colleagues trapped inside an inferno-ravaged warehouse in Charlestown. Though all other employees eventually made it out alive, but not him.
Early Life and Education
Kathy Minehan heard the panicky calls of Boston Fire Department Ladder 15 members searching for two colleagues who had become trapped and had little air left in their tanks, in her Dorchester kitchen at around 3 am on June 24. They were searching for two Ladder 15 firefighters that had become trapped during a warehouse fire in Charlestown and were believed to have little chance of escape.
Minehan’s husband was a 20-year veteran assigned to Ladder 15 who died while conducting search and rescue operations at a waterfront warehouse fire, posthumously receiving the John E. Fitzgerald Medal for Most Meritorious Act. Joe Minehan himself joined his fourth-generation father’s department shortly thereafter as district chief; over 12 years he led Team Kermit in PMC operations.
Minehan was a 20-year veteran of the fire department and assigned to Ladder 15. On June 24, 1994 he died while conducting search and rescue operations during a waterfront warehouse 9-alarm fire in Charlestown; posthumously awarded with the John E. Fitzgerald Medal for Most Meritorious Act. His death left his wife and four children grieving; one son later becoming district chief 27 years after their father passed.
After her husband’s death, his mother has taken on the team leader position of WINGS (Widows in Need of Grief Support). Additionally, she is an active member of Boston firefighters’ union – as are several generations before her; starting with her great-grandfather who left Ireland and joined fire service back in 1899.
Achievement and Honors
In 2023, Dr. Smith was honored with the CSUN Dean’s Medal of Achievement. His accomplishments include serving on the boards of directors for VISA, Partners HealthCare System, Charles River Laboratories, and Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; former director at Merck; Board Overseers at Cornell University Weill Medical College and Brandeis University Heller School for Social Policy and Management among many others.
On June 24, 1994, Ladder 15 Lieutenant Steven F. Minehan of the Boston Fire Department died while conducting search and rescue operations at a waterfront warehouse 9-alarm fire in Charlestown. Posthumously awarded with the John E. Fitzgerald Medal for Most Meritorious Act in 1995 he had served in this capacity for 20 years with his department.
Minehan is also a loving family man; his son Joseph serves as a Boston Fire Department firefighter and volunteers at his local church. Joseph Minehan once recounted some of his father’s closest calls during work – climbing an unstable fire escape with three other firefighters to reach trapped residents in burning buildings, for instance.
Minehan was born to Irish immigrants. Following her husband’s death, Kathleen joined WINGS (Widows in Need of Grief Support). Since then she has provided assistance in the aftermath of multiple fires. Mila works at WINGS as well and has participated in fundraising efforts; unfortunately several colleagues of Mila’s have died while serving their communities as first responders over time.
Steve is an esteemed entrepreneur and the founder of multiple start-ups. His philanthropy has had an enormously positive effect on non-profit organizations and academic institutions dedicated to medical science, especially through public chronicling of his struggle with Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia, a rare blood cancer, to raise awareness and give hope. Alongside Michele he established a foundation dedicated to creating safer and healthier worlds on 8 September 2017, exercising 27,033 units worth $3,055,810. Since 2012 he has conducted 23 trades of these shares BDX stocks which makes him sole owner.