|April 09, 2012 at 9:14am|
It is with deep regret that the Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Ayers announces the death of Lt. Robert Leary and FF Daniel Sweeney, both from Ladder 10, who were killed in the line of duty. Box 0361 Front and York Streets, was their last call answered at 03:13 April 9th, 2012.
Philadelphia, Pa. - Box 0361 was transmitted around 03:13 and members of Ladder company 10 responded as they usually do. But today was not going to be the same.
Engine 2 arrives at York and Jasper Streets to find a 6-story 300x500 Warehouse fully-involved. Companies work for hours to bring the fire under control. During the operation, the original fire building suffers a catastrophic collapse on the York Street side.
Around 5:30 AM Battalion 8 aide places the fire under control. But companies will have an extended operation as they douse hot spots and fire in multiple exposures. One of the exposures being a furniture store on Kensington Avenue.
When I arrived, members from Rescue Company 1 were opening up the gated store fronts. Members from Ladder 10 were in the rear checking for extension and putting out fire that extended into the furniture store.
I was on East Hagert Street shooting video when the main fire building (B/C corner) collapsed. Moments later the dispatcher alerted Battalion 8 that an emergency ID was going off.
When I went back to Kensington Avenue where the command post was set-up, a large number of firefighters were carrying tools and back boards to the rear of the furniture store. I do not believe the collapse I seen was the one that trapped the firefighters. Embers may have ignited the furniture store fire where the members of ladder 10 were working.
I watched as two members were pulled out, one rushed into an awaiting medic unit, the other walked out in a daze and sat on the sidewalk beside me.
I left as the Collapse Unit worked in locating the other missing firefighter.
It was a long ride home.