NORTH PHILADELPHIA (AP/WTXF) - A veteran firefighter and a resident were killed when a fast-moving fire roared through a North Philadelphia row home Saturday morning.
City officials say 42-year-old Lieutenant Matthew LeTourneau was pinned under debris inside the home when it collapsed. He was rescued by fellow firefighters and taken to the hospital. The 11-year-veteran was pronounced dead a short time later.
The fire broke out shortly before 9 a.m. on the 2200 block of North Colorado Street.
A 1993 graduate of Cardinal O’Hara High School, Lt. LeTourneau held an associate’s degree in fire science from Delaware County Community College. He lived in Springfield and is survived by his mother, other relatives and friends.
“Our hearts are breaking,” said Fire Commissioner Adam K. Thiel. “We are without words.”
“I am deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Lt. Matthew LeTournea," Mayor Kenney said in a statement. "I am grateful for his outstanding service to our city during his 11-year career."
Commissioner @ThielAdam announces the death of Lt. Matt LeTourneau: "Our hearts are breaking."— Philadelphia Fire (@PhillyFireDept) January 6, 2018
It is with great sorrow that I stand with Commissioner @ThielAdam today to announce the death of Lt. Matthew LeTourneau, who lost his life while fighting to keep the people of Philadelphia safe. I know our city grieves with all of our brothers and sisters in the @PhillyFireDept.— Jim Kenney (@PhillyMayor) January 6, 2018
Authorities say a person inside the home also died in the blaze. Another person from a neighboring home was taken to Temple University Hospital and was listed in critical condition. Their names and further details about their injuries were not disclosed.
Two other firefighters were also injured in the fire and transported to the hospital. Their injuries are not considered life-threatening.
Funeral arrangements for Lt. LeTourneau have not yet been announced.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
The last Philadelphia firefighter killed in action was Lieutenant Joyce Craig, who was fatally injured in December 2014 while battling a wind-whipped house fire.
Breaking: @PhillyFireDept Lieutenant Matt LeTourneau killed after being pinned in N.Philly house fire collapse for 30mins. Pronounced dead 11:07am. @ThielAdam “Our hearts are breaking.” Person in house also killed. 2 firefighters hurt but out of hospital “soon” @FOX29philly pic.twitter.com/iDxN5POeBI— Steve Keeley (@KeeleyFox29) January 6, 2018
We send our deepest condolences to our brothers and sisters at the @PhillyFireDept on the passing of Lt. Matt LeTourneau. The bravery displayed by these men and women every day serves as an inspiration to us all. Please keep Lt. LeTorneau's family in your thoughts and prayers. pic.twitter.com/TMDu6KXmam— Philadelphia Police (@PhillyPolice) January 6, 2018
Hard to express our sadness about losing Matt who served our community for so long as an EMT for Springfield Ambulance Corps and firefighter for @springfieldfd44. Our thoughts are with his family, Company 44, and his co-workers @PhillyFireDept.— SpringfieldPD Delco (@SPD91_Delco) January 6, 2018