A man has died after jumping from the upper floors of a North Philadelphia home engulfed by flames Tuesday morning. Firefighters were called to the 2600 block of Lehigh Avenue at about 4:30 a.m. after reports of heavy flames in a three-story row home. A 60-year-old man reportedly jumped from an upstairs window in order to escape the burning home. He was rushed to Temple University Hospital with multiple fractures and burns to 90 percent of his body. He later died from those injuries. A woman was also taken to the hospital. Her condition was not immediately available. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. LINK

I didn’t make this fire but companies a few stations over from us did. I was working that night and as usual we were being pulled in every different direction because we are short of companies. There has been a lot of fires in Philly lately with more than a few deaths and injuries as a result. Most people never really get to see a working fire first hand. That’s both good and bad. It’s always good when you don’t have to be subjected to that kind of trauma. But it is also bad because most people only have a vague appreciation for what the fire department does. In fact you are more likely to interact with a Police Officer in the course of their duties than a Fireman.

Unless there is a fire on your street you may never understand the devastating impact it has on a block or neighborhood. That’s especially true when a fire claims a life as in this case. Unfortunately it is often the very old and/or the very young who die in fires. This last week  young children were killed. Today an elderly man. He died horribly with significant burns. It’s tragic beyond comprehension. Yet the Nutter administration still wants more cuts to the fire department.

I am afraid it is going to be a growing trend. The Nutter administration is intent on cutting manpower and companies as well as buying fire trucks, that are  poorly designed for the intense urban operations of the kind we face. A once proud department is being brought to its knees and no one cares. That means more injuries, more deaths and more destruction of property.

Death rides a pale horse.



  1. Ritt says:

    Capt. – What’s the deal on the rigs? A short department in a City like Philly should have the very best – money “saved” there is nothing in the big picture.

  2. Bob G. says:

    Those are the old “faith, hope and chairty” homes like they used to have along the river in South Philly ages ago.
    Very narrow, and taller than normal…real tight inside, too. Fire loves to spread fast inside those places.

    If there is ONE thing ANY major city should NEVER even consider’s PUBLIC SAFETY…period!

    But, if this “mayor” Nutcase ever figured out that a SAFE public can be a TAX-PAYING public, maybe he’d reconsider his asinine proposals.
    ‘Ya think?

    All too sad a story, and should never need to occur.

    Stay safe out there.

  3. Our apparatus are marginal. They constantly complain there isn’t any money, not enough mechanics etc. to maintain them. Now they are looking at “Tiller Quints” to go in the stations where Nutter eliminated the engine companies and left the ladder behind so he could say he didn’t close the station all together. They are an abortion and have no place in a city like Philly.

  4. FDLE Lew says:

    Hey Cap–be careeful there..since when is 60 yoa “elderly”. Just sayin….

    • 60 is the new 40!!!

      • Aunt T says:

        I agree you dontfigure out what the hell you’re doing until your 57 and then they want you to retire not long afterwards. Pleople should retire when they have completed there tour and are longlonger willing and physically able to do the job.

  5. Dustoff says:

    Have you seen or heard about this? I saw this on Tuesday, but didn’t get much of a chance to really check on it.
    Volunteer fire departments are about as American as apple pie. But under legislation moving quickly in Congress, this staple of American life could soon be a thing of the past.

    House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D.-S.C.) wants to include the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act as part of the war supplemental coming before the House this week. The bill forces state and local governments to collectively bargain with police, firefighters and emergency workers. Its critics say it would compel volunteer firefighters to join unions, threatening the survival of America’s nearly 26,000 volunteer fire departments.

    I use to teach first responder class to a few small towns in WA state where we have many small Vol FD’s.

    Some of small ones have a operating budget of just $30.000 per year.

    PS. This bill was added to the WAR funding bill that is soon to be voted on.

  6. Andrew says:

    “Arrows cost money. The dead cost nothing.” – Edward I (Braveheart)

    This is how politicians think. And why Nutter has no problem compromising the safety of this city’s residents to save some $$$$$.

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