May 18, 2016 |
One morning in March 1968, Joseph A. Hall was riding on a bus from his Northeast Philadelphia home to his job as a city firefighter at 16th and Parrish Streets. When the bus stopped on Frankford Avenue near Oxford Street, Mr. Hall and Vincent Lehman, a fire battalion chief riding the same bus, saw flames shooting from a three-story rowhouse on Oxford. Before other firefighters arrived, newspaper stories reported at the time, the two men rescued two children who were about to jump from a third-floor window.
December 10, 2015 |
In a move both bold and nostalgic, Curio Theatre brings Eugene Ionesco's absurdist living-room comedy, The Bald Soprano , back to Philadelphia. Why bold? Because before Brat Productions' former artistic director Madi Distefano left our city for warmer climes, she turned the show into something of an institution, staging several 24-hour-long productions over the last decade, during which the show was repeated in a continuous live-action loop. Curio's audience is potentially more familiar with this script than any other.
June 7, 2015 |
The fire chief did not hesitate. He walked into a room at the West Philadelphia nursing home and headed straight for the woman in the wheelchair. Hers was the voice he had heard cry "help" after 13 hours buried alive. The extraordinary encounter Friday between Mariya Plekan and John O'Neill was their first since he, then a Fire Department captain, rescued her from the rubble of a deadly demolition collapse two years earlier. "Hello, Mariya," O'Neill said. "Hello," she replied, looking up at the tall man. She could not rise to embrace the person who had saved her from the near-suffocating debris that had confined her in darkness for half a day. Her legs and her hip joints have been amputated.
April 29, 2015 |
JAMES McGARRIGLE never claimed to be God, but for the desperate firefighters trapped in a burning high-rise, their air packs running out, the man who led them to safety certainly was a figure of salvation. "When they saw his flashlight, they thought he was God," Jim's family said. Jim had landed by helicopter on the roof of One Meridian Plaza, the 30-story high-rise in Center City, that cold February day in 1991, scene of one of the deadliest fires in city history. A team of three firefighters reported they had become disoriented in the smoke and were running out of air. They died in the suffocating smoke.
October 22, 2014 |
Robert R. Cowden Sr. was sworn in as a Philadelphia fireman at age 19 on Aug. 3, 1959. For 32 years, he devoted his life to fighting fires, first as a rookie, later as a lieutenant and captain, and finally as a city fire battalion chief. His climb up the Philadelphia Fire Department hierarchy mirrored a family pattern in place for four generations; Cowden men had served as city firemen since 1889. They thrived on the work and the challenge. "They lived and breathed it. It's not their job, it's who they were," said Mr. Cowden's son, Robert R. Jr. Mr. Cowden, 74, died Wednesday, Oct. 15, from complications of congestive heart failure at his daughter's home in Montgomery County.
September 25, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Democrats took down a controversial attack ad in a heated South Jersey congressional race Tuesday, even as the Philadelphia-born firefighter in the ad stood by its message. The cable TV spot attacked Republican candidate Tom MacArthur, accusing him of profiting from his former company, York Risk Services, as the insurance services firm denied claims from injured Phoenix firefighters. But MacArthur had sold the company and left it nearly a year before York got involved with the firefighters' claims.
September 24, 2014 |
At 2:30 one recent afternoon, Neil Calore entered a small, white-frame house in Frankford, carrying a heavy bag in each hand. "Brought you some dinner, Anthony," he said, unloading pastries onto the kitchen table, then stuffing the fridge with the makings of seven meals: pork sausage, breaded chicken cutlets, fish with potatoes. Anthony Strazzeri, 96, sat upright and inspected the pastry. He had been waiting eagerly for Calore, who visits every week, delivering food and conversation - stories about family, politics, and how the world has changed.
November 29, 2013 |
William B. Young, 74, of Westville, who retired in 1992 as a captain with the Camden Fire Department after a 30-year career, died of hypertensive vascular disease on Thursday, Nov. 21, at his home. Born in Reading, Mr. Young graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden and served in the Navy from 1957 to 1961, where he was taught aircraft and shipboard firefighting. "They teach them a certain amount of firefighting in the Navy, and he fell in love with it," brother David said.
April 18, 2013 |
The Philadelphia firefighters union on Wednesday announced the establishment of the Capt. Michael Goodwin Memorial Fund to honor the firefighter who died April 6 in the line of duty. "We vowed to Mike's family, as we have to all families who have lost a loved one in the line of duty, that we will always stand by them and take care of them. This is the first formal step in that ongoing process," said Bill Gault, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 22. Goodwin, 53, died battling an intense blaze at a fabrics warehouse in South Philadelphia.
April 13, 2013 |
Philadelphia Fire Capt. Michael Robert Goodwin Sr. was mourned Thursday in the small neighborhood church where he attended Bible school, exchanged marriage vows, and brought his children to be baptized. Goodwin, 53, was killed Saturday fighting a fire on Fabric Row in South Philadelphia. His colleagues said he died living out his personal credo: that those who have earned positions of authority should lead by example and not dispatch others to do the hard work. Dozens of childhood friends already had filled the curved wooden pews of St. Michael's Lutheran Church in Kensington when Goodwin's mother, Elizabeth, arrived for the service.