Local 1590
Line of Duty Deaths
This section is dedicated to the members of the Wilmington Fire Department who tragically passed in the line of duty.

Hired by the Wilmington Fire Department on August 2, 1993, and was assigned to Engine Company No. 5.  The morning of September 24th, 2016, the fire department was alerted to a house fire on Lakeview Road where crews encountered a basement fire.  While fighting the fire and searching for trapped victims, the first floor collapsed and sent Ffr. Ardythe Hope, Lt. Leach, and Ffr. Brad Speakman in the fully involved basement. Hope was trapped in the basement as crews immediately began rescue efforts.  Ffr. Hope and Ffr. Speakman was rescued and transported to the Crozer Burn Center.  Ffr. Hope sustained burns to over 70% of her body and after fighting for almost two months in the burn center, Ffr. Hope succumbed to her injuries on December 1, 2016.  She was posthumously promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. 

Hired by the Wilmington Fire Department on September 16, 2002, and was working on an exchange on Ladder Company No. 2.  The morning of September 24th, 2016, the fire department was alerted to a house fire on Lakeview Road where crews encountered a basement fire.  While fighting the fire and searching for trapped victims, the first floor collapsed and sent Lt. Leach, Ffr. Brad Speakman, and Ffr Ardythe Hope in the fully involved basement.  Lt. Leach was trapped by debris and was located by Ffr. Jerry Fickes and Ffr. Terrance Tate, as they worked to free him, a second collapse occurred.  Lt. Leach became heavily trapped and did not survive, and was pronounced on scene.  He was posthumously promoted to the rank of Captain.

Hired by the Wilmington Fire Department on December 15, 2003, and was assigned to Squad Company No. 4-C Platoon.  The morning of September 24, 2016, the fire department was alerted to a house fire on Lakeview Road where crews encountered a basement fire.  While operating on scene, a Mayday was transmitted when the first floor collapsed into the basement, sending Lt. Christopher Leach, Ffr. Brad Speakman, and Ffr. Ardythe Hope into the fully involved basement.  Fickes and Ffr. Terrance Tate from Squad Company No. 4 immediately began rescue efforts in the basement from the rear of the structure.  In the rescue efforts, Ffr. Fickes and Ffr. Tate worked to free trapped Lt. Leach when a secondary collapse occurs.  Ffr. Fickes was caught in the collapse.  Ffr. Fickes was rescued from the debris and transported to Christiana Hospital where he was pronounced deceased. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.

Hired by the Wilmington Fire Department on May 3, 1971 and was acting Lieutenant of Ladder Company No. 2. On January 6, 1998, his company was first to arrive at a house on fire at 2802 N. Tatnall St. He was told by the occupants that the fire was in the basement and the entrance was at the back of the house.  Ffr. Mousley and another firefighter went to the back, when Ffr. Mousley collapsed with a heart attack.  Fellow firefighters revived him with CPR and he was taken to Wilmington Hospital, where he later died.

Hired by the Wilmington Fire Department on January 24, 1972. His death was the result of a rescue mission on the Delaware River on June 18, 1990. At 6:30 am the next day, Lt. Goode failed to show up for another emergency response.  Officials learned that he had died of a heart attack in his sleep at Station No. 2, 400 New Castle Avenue.

Hired by the Wilmington Fire Department on September 1, 1959. On or about July 29, 1978, he was fighting a fire at 803 Lombard St. and suffered chest pains on site.  On August 22, 1978, he died of complications from that injury.

Hired by the Wilmington Fire Department on April 21, 1942. On December 2, 1962, he finished working 10 hours at Engine Company No. 8 at Second & Jackson streets and went home. He decided to stop by the Christiana Fire Company's Station 12, where he had been a volunteer since 1959.  Shortly after 9 pm, the company responded to a house fire on Howell School Road near Glasgow. The two-story frame farmhouse was on fire and Naumann was on the first floor trying to cut a hole in the ceiling when he collapsed.  He was rushed to Wilmington General Hospital, but he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Hired by the Wilmington Fire Department on July 8, 1946. On February 27, 1962, he and his fellow firefighters arrived at a three-story building on fire at 816 West St. Fm. Simpkins was on the second floor when he collapsed.  He was carried to the sidewalk and given oxygen.  He died at 2 am at the hospital, where doctors determined that smoke had induced a heart attack.

Hired by the Wilmington Fire Department on December 1, 1921.  On December 27, 1955, city firefighters rushed to a pair of burning houses in the 600 block of East 6th st. DC. Kirlin was directing operations and was seen running upstairs in one of the burning houses.  Officials later said smoke led to a heart attack.  He collapsed and was carried outside by his crew.  Company officials said he could have retired 14 years earlier, but preferred to remain active in firefighting.

Hired by the Wilmington Fire Department on September 16, 1942.  He was working the night shift on June 27, 1953, when the alarm rang for Maeson's Record Store at 6 East 4th St. Firefighters needed three hours to get the blaze under control. Lt. Veal was found in the flooded basement of the store, believed to have fallen through a collapsed floor.  His crew carried him from the basement, but he was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. 

Assigned to Ladder Company No. 3 at Third and French streets.  He was on duty on August 12, 1950, when an alarm sounded at 4:30 am for a fire at the King Fabric Co., 716 King St. The fire was difficult to control and as he left the building, he collapsed on the sidewalk and died.  His autopsy showed smoke caused a breakdown of his lungs.

Hired by the Wilmington Fire Department on January 20, 1922.  On the morning of December 23, 1945, there were three unrelated alarms in the city and he responded to a more serious sounding incident at 524 McCaulley St. where fire started in a closet.  While inside the building investigating, DC. McGranary was overcome by smoke and died from smoke-induced cardiac arrest.

Hired by the Wilmington Fire Department on February 28th 1924, and was assigned to Engine Company No. 6 at Third and Union Streets.  On May 11, 1939, he was standing on the back step of a fire apparatus responding to a blaze near Sixth and Union Streets.  He fell to the highway after he lost his footing when the vehicle made a sudden movement.  He suffered a double skull fracture and died the following day.

Hired by the Wilmington Fire Department on December 1, 1921 and assigned to Engine Company No. 6  at Third and Union  Streets, then the Wilmington Fire Department's training site.  On June 11, 1924, he was participating in ladder training and had just climbed 16 feet into the air when his grip relaxed and he fell to the ground, apparently having a heart attack while on the ladder.

Hired by the Wilmington Fire Department on December 1, 1921.  Shortly before his death, he had fought a blaze at the Amalgamated Leather Co., at Front and Adams Streets.  He is believed to have inhaled noxious ammonia fumes in the fire and died from pneumonia as a result.

Hired by the Wilmington Fire Department on December 1, 1921.  On March 1, 1922 at 1:30 am, Fm. Pappa responded to an alarm at 220 King Street.  He and other firefighters had almost extinguished the fire when an alley wall collapsed, burying them under tons of bricks and mortar. His back was broken and he died in the hospital.




Page Last Updated: Sep 22, 2022 (19:57:22)
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