Family of fallen female Philly firefighter file complaint in her death

- Attorneys representing the family of fallen Philadelphia firefighter Joyce M. Craig have filed a complaint claiming that she would have survived the December 2014 house fire that caused her death if the protective equipment she was using functioned properly.

The complaint was filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas by attorneys from Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky.

Lt. Craig lost her life on December 9, 2014 while battling a fire in a two-story West Oak Lane row home. She was the city’s first female firefighter to be killed in the line of duty.

According to the complaint, Lt. Craig reported to work the day of the deadly fire to earn overtime to pay for Christmas presents for her kids. The complaint also says that Lt. Craig was wearing the face mask of her Self-contained Breathing Apparatus, however they claim there was no air in her tank. Also, her Personal Alert Safety System also failed to notify responders to her location, the complaint says.

“Firefighter Craig, 36 and a veteran of the Department, literally went into the heat of battle without the proper resources to come out alive,” said attorney David L. Kwass, of SMBB.

“Her so-called life saving equipment that she was trained to trust, failed and failed fatally because of the defendants who were responsible for its design, manufacture, and maintenance. On behalf of the children of Firefighter Craig, and the co-administrators of her estate, we will vigorously litigate this complaint and obtain justice on behalf of a courageous public servant and loving mother.”

More than two dozen defendants are named in the complaint, including Scott Health and Safety, Tyco, Fisher Scientific, Goodyear, Smith Fire Service, Cairns and Brother, and Majestic Fire Apparel.

The complaint says that the defendants are collectively responsible for the equipment Lt. Craig was using.

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