Bar Harbor Fire Chief And His Step-Daughter Witness Explosions At Boston Marathon

Updated 1 year ago

The Bar Harbor Fire Chief’s instinct and training set in Monday when the Boston Marathon bombs exploded. He and his step-daughter were caught up in the chaos as they waited for his wife to cross the finish line.”I didn’t want them there. I really didn’t. A friend of mine got them the credentials so they could be in area in the stands where they were and there’s some guilt over that. A lot. Well, they were there to see me, and if I wasn’t there…,” said Lori Bartlett of Bar Harbor.Nervous running her first Boston Marathon, Lori didn’t want her husband and daughter waiting at the finish line. She hoped they would cheer her on at mile 25, with the Dana Farber Cancer Research team Lori was running for, but they didn’t listen.”I just wanted to see her finish the marathon. It’s such an accomplishment,” said her husband, Bar Harbor Fire Chief Matt Bartlett. “Everybody was just so exited. Everybody was cheering on everybody, no matter who it was. You know and it was really fun. High-fiving people that go by: everybody was happy,” said Lori’s sixteen year old daughter, Anna Busker. With Lori just a few miles from 26.2, the celebrations turned into chaos.”You could see the fireball and the smoke, and then you know just everybody running in different directions,” said Chief Bartlett. A first responder by nature, the Fire Chief’s first reaction was to get his stepdaughter to a safe location. “First I told her to get down. I didn’t want us to get wrapped up into the rushing crowd. When we started to leave is when we heard the second one go off. She was obviously terrified, and you know, I was trying to keep her reassured. Trying to make her think everything was alright, even though there was complete chaos around us,” said Chief Bartlett. “When we were first leaving the bleachers, the first thought in my head was, ‘we’re gonna die and the buildings are going to fall down,’ and I thought, ‘where’s mom and is she okay,’” said Busker. After a number of disconnected phone calls and texts, the trio eventually reunited. “She came running down the hill, flying her shoe off, and giving me a hug, and after that I just wanted to get out to Boston and go home,” said Lori Bartlett. But will she run again?”In a heartbeat. You can’t let this kind of thing affect you in such a way that it shuts down everything that you love to do. Yeah, I’ll do it again, and I’d like to do it again for Dana Farber. I want to finish for myself and for them,” said Lori Bartlett.


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