PORT RICHMOND – July 13, 2010 — It was a very solemn scene in the 2700 Block of East Madison outside the row home where the fire broke out 3 weeks ago. About 75 relatives, friends and neighbors gathered near a makeshift memorial after learning that yet another child victim has died from the fire which was ruled accidental, the result of faulty wiring. Related Content More: Send a Breaking News alert More: Report a typo More: Sign up for 6abc Newsletters More: Action News Slideshows “You have to hold on to faith cause that’s all people have right now,” said Mia Gina, aunt. The three Budzilo children, 1-year-old Jake, 3-year-old Nicholas and 5-year-old Christopher were trapped in a 2nd floor bedroom where the fire broke out. Their mother Debbie Proud, whose 7 months pregnant, was critically injured trying to rescue the children as was their 50-year-old grandfather, Eugene Budzilo. Both the mother and grandfather survived, but 3-year-old Nicholas died a day later.

 Tuesday afternoon, 1-year-old Jake also succumbed to his injuries. “Bad enough for them to have to bury one, but to bury two? Two? No,” said Cheryl Walizykowski, aunt. The children’s father and mother were too emotionally distraught to attend the vigil. Meanwhile the children’s grandfather, who survived the fire, finally gathered enough strength to show up. Budzilo, still wearing bandages on his right hand and arm, seem numbed as he was comforted by family and friends. “Blaming himself, it’s not his fault, he tried, he tried his best. He did what any grandfather would do. Get in there and get these kids out. The mother did, everybody tried. It was an accident,” said Cheryl. In the last 3 weeks, a number of organizations have donated money to help the family. Next week, a radio station is sponsoring a benefit for the surviving child, Christopher who family members say remains in a rehab facility and is making a remarkable turnaround. “He knows that Nicholas was gone, so he went in to see Jake to say goodbye today,” said Cheryl. Funeral arrangements for Jake whose 2nd birthday would have been next month are still pending.

ABC 6 (WPVI) TV in Philadelphia doesn’t mention the Nutter administrations plans to start “rolling brownouts” of fire stations on their web site – or on their newscast – but they run this story. In my opinion WPVI TV (ACTION NEWS) is the most rotten TV news program on the air. They never report in any detail on the impact of public safety cuts, yet never miss an opportunity to cover a tragedy. (THINK DUK BOAT) Where are the tough questions for the Mayor from their intrepid reporters? Where is Vernon Odom, Dan Quellar or David Henry on this issue of vital public importance?  NOWHERE. Close a library and they have the place surrounded with satellite trucks. Close a firehouse and it doesn’t rate a paragraph on their website. 

They are simply disgusting.



  1. Dustoff says:

    Well Capt. I saw this in my mornings news. I’m sure you already now.


    Coming to the Philadelphia Fire Department and they could include rolling closures of firehouses.

    What if you stopped by your local firehouse and found the firefighters who would normally be first to answer your call weren’t there at all that day?

    It could happen.

    The city announced as many as four units each day may be taken out of service in neighborhoods city wide in hopes of saving more than $3.5 million in overtime to ease the city’s budget crunch.

    “He’s (Mayor Michael Nutter) rolling the dice and he’s playing Russian roulette with people’s lives,” said Bill Gault, President of Local 22, the firefighters’ union

    Stay safe Capt.

  2. Dustoff says:


    I’m sure you all ready know.

    See I can’t even type I’m so pissed off.

  3. Wyatt Earp says:

    What’s the Fire Death count up to? Has to be more than 13 this year.

  4. Spock says:

    Cap, did you Walt Hunter’s report on 3? He showed footage of the last round of cuts & associated protests, then asked Mayor Squidward if the rolling closures were to avoid those protests and get closures in under radar. Mayor Cutter was po’d by the question.

  5. Bob G. says:

    Cripes, at this rate, you’re going to have people wondering WHICH body count will be higher…homicides or fire deaths.
    This simply does NOT have to happen.

    I’d be on the horn to the media..get someone to investigate this…find some anonymous sources to get the word out.

    And remember…if you’re pissing someone off, you MUST be doing the RIGHT THING!

    Stay safe out there.

  6. Robbie says:

    This is sad and tragic ! I have goosebumps and tears.

  7. Old NFO says:

    CA- that just sucks… NOW you will really have problems with second in- which station is open ‘this’ week, etc… Be careful!

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