George Rizer shares his photos of a tragic day for the Boston Fire Department

BACK BAY — Our former colleague George Rizer shared some of his amazing photos from the tragic fire on June 17, 1972, in the Hotel Vendome in the Back Bay that claimed the lives of nine Boston firefighters, the largest loss of life in the department’s history. A memorial on the Commonwealth Avenue Mall commemorates the valor of the fire crews and marks the nine men lost that day.

What George remembered was how the fire appeared to be extinguished and the crews were working on making the site safe when a part of the building collapsed trapping the men inside. The hotel site was rebuilt as condos.

All photos by George Rizer

Firefighters and emergency personnel work to remove a victim from the rubble left by the fire at the Vendome Hotel in Boston on June 17, 1972. Nine firefighters were killed in the collapse of the building, the worst loss of life in the history of the Boston Fire Department. Globe staff file photo by George Rizer

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