DARBY TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Briarcliffe Fire Company has been shut down for at least the next 30 days as Delaware County officials investigate the alleged use of racial slurs on a recent virtual meeting.
The fire company, located in Darby Township will not be receiving fire calls during the suspension.
The suspension comes after a Jan. 27 virtual meeting between township fire companies and commissioners about a potential consolidation.
According to a letter from the Goodwill Fire Company obtained by FOX 29, following the end of the meeting, a group of people remained on the call.
The letter says there was then a group of people that could be heard discussing the meeting using foul language, and identifies those involved in the conversation as members of the Briarcliffe Fire Company.
The conversation, which lasted an hour and 45 minutes, allegedly included racial slurs when discussing members of other fire companies and township residents.
One of the Briarcliffe Fire Company members was also accused of making a joke about, Fanta Bility, a young girl who was killed in a shooting in Sharon Hill last fall.
The family of the 8-year-old shared a statement on Thursday night that read in part: "To speak of her with such disrespect, shines the light of shame on those people at the firehouse making the remarks, and reflects negatively on those good and true first responders who pledge their lives to the service of all members of the community."
Derogatory and otherwise offensive comments were also allegedly made about other township officials.
Township officials say the incident is under investigation, and that a criminal referral is expected to be made to the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office.
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In their letter, the Goodwill Fire Company Board of directors expressed their concern for the fire companies and safety of the community.
"This is not appropriate and does not belong in the township," the letter read.
Darby Township officials are scheduled to speak on the issue at 2 p.m. Thursday. You can watch the press conference live on FOX29.com.