IceCats to honor fallen firefighters

In a continuing effort to assist in community initiatives, the Worcester IceCats have made public their intentions to raise money for the Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Fund.

In partnership with the Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Committee, the IceCats will auction off special jerseys, following two appearances in the distinctive sweaters, beginning this Friday.

On Friday night at the DCU Center, in their 7:05 PM game against the Hershey Bears, the IceCats will forgo their usual teal and blue for a red-based sweater trimmed in blue. In addition, the ‘Cats will trade in their Scratch crest for a silver W-6 emblem. This mark has come to symbolize the six Worcester firefighters that perished in the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. building fire.

Friday will mark the fifth anniversary of that fateful night. On December 3, 1999, Lt. Thomas E. Spencer, Lt. James F. Lyons, Paul A. Brotherton, Jeremiah M. Lucey, Timothy P. Jackson and Joseph T. McGuirk were killed battling a blaze in the abandoned building. The fire had started earlier in the afternoon when a homeless couple knocked over a candle during an argument. They ran out of the building when they couldn’t put out the flames, and never reported the fire.

It took six days to extinguish the blaze. The drama played out in front of a grieving city and nation. President Bill Clinton and more than 30,000 firefighters from around the country joined the city in a public memorial service.

The IceCats will return to the DCU Center ice in the W-6 jerseys on Sat., Dec. 11, as the ‘Cats host the Providence Bruins at 7:05 PM. During the first intermission of that game, the commemorative jerseys will be auctioned off, with the proceeds benefiting the Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Fund.

The committee recently selected Gala Simon Associates Inc. as the winning designers for a Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial. Arrangements are being made to have a scale model of that design on display at the DCU Center for the ‘Cats game on the 11th.