Prayer Service For Fallen Firefighter A Year After Death

PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) A police escort for community members and fellow firefighters marching in memory of fallen Firefighter Joyce Craig. They marched from Engine 73 on Ogontz Avenue to Middleton Street in West Oak Lane. It's where Lieutenant Craig lost her life battling a fire a two story row home a year ago today.

"She wasn't just a female firefighter, she was an awesome firefighter," said Lisa Forrest who led the vigil and prayer service outside the still charred and boarded up home where her dear friend and colleague died. Lieutenant Craig was just 36 years old.

"It just chokes me up talking about her because I stand here as Joyce Craig's friend but I also had the opportunity to work with her," said Forrest.

The emotion filled crowd stood as a minister led them in song and prayer for Lieutenant Craig and others in the Philadelphia Fire Department.

"I think of them as domestic warriors you know what I mean? They're fighting to keep us safe here on the home front," said Bruce Harvey who lives nearby. He came to pay his respects. He says his brother Lieutenant Derrick Harvey was a Philadelphia Firefighter who also died in the line of duty nearly 12 years ago.

"That's why I was real concerned that night especially when I found out that a firefighter had died the same way my brother had died," said Harvey.

The night ended with a prayer service outside Engine 64, Lieutenant Craig's station.  The department gave the family a special remembrance of Lieutenant Craig which her son accepted. Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer also spoke.

"Whenever we lose one of our own we have a sense of failure that we didn't really succeed in doing our job," said Commissioner Sawyer.

The group lit candles around a plaque that sits outside in Lieutenant Craig's memory and honor.

"Not only does it help the family realize that we're always going to be here and we'll never forget but it helps the healing of them also and it helps the fire service with their healing process," said Commissioner Sawyer.
Last March the Fire Marshal ruled the cause of the fire "undetermined". Fire officials are still waiting on a report from the National Institute of Safety and Health.

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