PORT RICHMOND – June 23, 2010 (WPVI) — One of the young boys injured in a fire Tuesday afternoon in Philadelphia has died.  Nicholas Budzilo, 3, died after suffering severe smoke inhalation, his aunt told Action News.

His brothers remain hospitalized at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. 5-year-old Christopher Budzilo is also suffering from severe smoke inhalation, while 1-year-old Jake Budzilo is suffering from burns over 60% of his body.  Their aunt says Christopher opened his eyes Wednesday morning, but struggled.

Their grandfather, who helped the family get out of the house, is in critical condition on a ventilator. The boys’ mother, Debbie Proud, is in stable condition. She is six months pregnant.  Debbie Proud was taken to Temple Hospital after the fire, but was brought to St. Christopher’s to be with her children.  The boys’ grandfather, Eugene Budzilo, helped rescue the family, and when firefighters arrived his hair was still smoking after catching on fire. At first he was said to have just minor burns, but was later placed on a respirator for smoke inhalation. LINK

I have been following this story on my days off this week. Port Richmond is the next neighborhood over from my station here in Philly. It’s close by and my ladder company was first in on this fire. I was wondering how the kids were doing. Sadly enough not good. One child has died and it doesn’t look good for the others. Worse yet there are family relations with one of the firefighters at our station. It’s an enormous tragedy any time children die. A senseless fire tragedy like this makes it even more heartbreaking.

Engine 28 was the first in engine on this fire. The city administration tried unsuccessfully to close Engine 28 a few short years ago but due to our unions determined efforts and those of the community they relented. It was a small victory as the Nutter administration then closed down Engine 6, the next engine over. Engine 6 would have been second in on this fire. Since they are no longer in service another engine company had to come from much farther away. This is the same scenario I experienced this past weekend when fighting a ferocious house fire in our local. I can only speculate how the long response time of the second in company impacted the fire attack and search for these children. As we can see with an occupied house fire SECONDS literally make the difference between life and death for the most vulnerable among us.

Years upon years of waste, fraud, abuse, out of whack priorities, reckless and irresponsible spending have brought this city and many other municipalities once again to the brink of insolvency. Now they are forced to lay off cops and close fire companies. Ironically these are the two services most often specifically mandated by most municipal charters. That’s why we pay taxes in the first place, public safety.

It strikes me as sickening that liberals often throw out the tired mantra “If it saves just one life” when they are trying to force their nanny state agenda down our throats. You hear it all the time when they want new gun control laws, or they want to implement some new exotic and unnecessary safety regulation. Yet when it comes to fire protection we don’t hear one word from them. Where are the liberals screaming to protect the innocent children now? In a city that is overwhelmingly democrat / liberal there is no hue and cry, no outrage and no push for more fire protection. In fact it is the exact opposite. The push in Philadelphia is to save libraries and swimming pools. Maybe someone can explain that to me? Naaaah. I doubt it.



  1. madmike59 says:

    Dead on Captain A…

  2. Bob G. says:


    Dittos on that!

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