13 December 2008

KingCast, Gloucester Times say on 1-Year anniversary of Lorraine fire: "Rest in Peace, Robert Taylor, you most certainly did not die in vain."

I heard that yesterday's Gloucester Times ran a story on the fatal fire one year ago at the Lorraine building over at 80 Middle Street. It's a multimedia presentation with archived and current video, including statements from fire victim and painter Ed Herman, and Marc Nicastro, the firefighter who entered Robert Taylor's blocked-off third floor apartment that only had egress from an elevator via the fourth floor.
"He was a big spirit, he was a good guy.... I was involved in that rescue attempt and to watch a person perish like that, will stay with me for my life," said Herman, of Taylor.

Former resident Karen Kushin moved her family out of the Lorraine and spoke with Robert Taylor often. She told the Gloucester Times and other media a year ago that he said he was "living on borrowed time in this firetrap" at the Lorraine.

Robert Taylor's Law -- a bill that would mandate disclosure of a residential building's underinspected health and building department status prior to leasing -- should hit the Senate Floor any day now, to be introduced by Senator Bruce Tarr and supported by State Rep. Anthony Verga and others.

Former resident Shanna Schulze -- a friend of mine -- sued the owners, Gary Raso and Robert Gattineri, and most of the other tenants have retained counsel. Raso's name may be familiar to some sports fans: He was arrested for extortion when he somehow came into possession of Ted Williams' championship rings somehow a few years back. But that's another story.

Suggested reading: More about Robert Taylor, and more, and then of course a eulogy.

KingCast PS for the Times' Kate Glass: Solid videos.

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