Firefighter, resident killed in Philly fire
A veteran firefighter was fatally injured Saturday when a burning row home collapsed in Philadelphia and he became pinned under the debris, authorities said. A person who lived in the home was also killed.
Lieutenant Matthew LeTourneau, 42, was pulled from the home by fellow firefighters and taken to Temple University hospital. The 11-year-veteran was pronounced dead there a short time later.
“Our hearts are breaking, and we are without words,” city Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said at a news conference Saturday afternoon. He said it took about 30 minutes for firefighters to free LeTourneau from the debris caused by the interior structure collapse.
The fast-moving fire was reported about 8:50 a.m., and dozens of firefighters battled the blaze for nearly two hours before it was brought under control. Two other firefighters were injured and were being treated at a hospital. Their injuries were not considered life-threatening.
Authorities said a person found inside the home died in the fire, while another person from a neighboring home was taken to the hospital and was listed in critical condition.
LeTourneau joined the fire department in 2007 and was promoted to lieutenant in 2015. He had received a unit citation in 2010 and a letter of commendation for his service during the World Meeting of Families in 2015.
Thiel said LeTourneau would receive a fire department funeral with full honors.