Group pays mortgages for fallen state soldier and firefighter


BOSTON (AP) – A foundation that supports the families of first responders and military personnel who have died in the line of duty has paid off mortgages for a Massachusetts firefighter and soldier as part of its campaign annual Season of Hope.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation this week paid off mortgages for the families of Private Thomas Clardy and Newburyport firefighter Brett Burkinshaw.

Clardy, 44, was killed in March 2016 on the Massachusetts Turnpike in Charlton when he was struck by a vehicle during a traffic stop. He leaves behind a wife and six children.

“The holidays can be a difficult time for my children without their father,” his wife, Reisa, said in a statement. “Paying off the mortgage during the season of hope helps us have faith, joy and happiness during the holiday season.”

Burkinshaw, 47, died in July after a 19-month battle with work-related brain cancer. He is survived by his wife Cheryl and their daughter.

“Home is where our heart is and where we have so many happy memories with Brett. Knowing that my daughter and I will have the security of our home forever without a mortgage is impossible to express in words,” said Cheryl Burkinshaw in a statement.

Families of Little Rock, Arkansas, Fire Battalion Chief Edward Louis Karriem; Detroit Police Officer Myron Anthony Jarrett; and Kalamazoo, Mich., Deputy Sheriff Ryan Proxmire, also had their mortgages paid.

Tunnels to Towers was founded in honor of Stephen Siller, a New York City firefighter who died in response to the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001.


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