MAYFAIR (WTXF) - Four years after Philadelphia Fire Lt. Robert Neary died in a five-alarm warehouse fire in Kensington, his life and work is being honored.
“He loved what he did. That’s the only consolation, that he died doing what he loved,” said Neary’s sister, Brita Wisler.
The late Lt. was honored with a plaque, a dedicated at Mayfair Memorial Playground and a race. He was the chosen honoree of the 8th Annual Mayfair Fallen Heroes Run.
“He was a great guy. We all knew him in the firehouse. We know he was a man who took care of people under him, a man well-respected, someone who is missed in the Fire Department today,” explained City Battalion Chief Vince Mulray.
A new class of cadets from the Philadelphia Fire Department ran the race in honor of their fallen brother.
“It's a good thing for them to come out here and do the runs. It shows them that camaraderie exists in the fire department, and the fact that we're all pretty much family,” said PFD Lt. Nate Moyer.
Money raised at the run will go to families of local heroes who have died in the line of duty. Any money that’s left over will help to maintain and beautify Mayfair Memorial Park.
Runner Sheila Fanning says, “Everyone’s trying to keep the neighborhood strong, because a lot of people are negative about it. They’re trying to do everything they can to keep it strong.”
The Mayfair community is showing up for their local service men and women.
Race organizer Antoniette Montgomery explains, “We get a lot of people who register and don’t even come. They want to give money because it’s a police officer or firefighter.”
The Fallen Heroes Run is expecting to raise at least $10,000. For family and friends of Lt. Neary, being recognized for making the ultimate sacrifice is a priceless gift from the community.
Wisler adds, “I was just so excited because it's been a couple years and sometimes things simmer down and you don't hear anything. It’s an honor to see that he was gonna be honored today.”