Marlborough rallies to support firefighter family after father’s passing

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Marlborough rallies to support firefighter family after father’s passing
Mike J. Burnell addresses the crowd at a fundraiser on Friday with his brother Dan. (Photo/Ron Ayotte)

MARLBOROUGH – It is said that in the fire service, firefighters have two families — the one they live with, and the one they work with, and both of them are intertwined.

On Friday evening, those friends and families from Marlborough, Hudson and beyond came together for a fundraiser to help the family of Michael A. Burnell with medical expenses.

He was unfortunately diagnosed with cancer and let go from his job after his Family Leave Act benefits ran out, though, leaving his sons, Mike J. Burnell and Dan Burnell, to pick up the expenses of his medical bills.

Michael A. Burnell passed away on March 19 after a valiant battle against his cancer.

Mike J. and Dan are both firefighters for the City of Marlborough. As such, their brothers and sisters from Marlborough Firefighters Local 1714 put together a fundraiser to help them defray the expenses of their dad’s medical care and funeral expenses.

The community answered the call.

Family, friends, firefighters and other co-workers filled the Moose Hall in town on Friday, where members of the Worcester Firefighters Pipes and Drums performed, along with a DJ who provided music for the event.

Marlborough rallies to support firefighter family after father’s passing
Members of the Worcester Firefighters Pipes and Drums perform. (Photo/Ron Ayotte)

Many local businesses donated raffle prizes and food, with the proceeds from the admission to the event and the sales of raffle tickets going directly to the Burnell family.

Mike J. Burnell addressed the crowd, choking back tears and saying that it has been a tough eight months, but that he was grateful for the support he and his brother have received.

This effort had raised a total of $25,000 as of Saturday morning.