Montgomery County mourns loss of volunteer firefighter killed in the line of duty on 4th of July

Montgomery County residents honored a firefighter who lost his life battling a fire in Lower Merion Township on the Fourth of July.

Volunteer firefighter Sean DeMuynck, who was 35-years-old and dedicated to the Penn Wynne-Overbrook Hills Fire Company, and his wife were set to return home to family in Canada before he died in the line of duty. 

"You never think one of your guys is going to pay the ultimate sacrifice and so we are struggling," said Lower Merion Township Chief Fire Officer Chas McGarvey.

Janelle Gan says she lives across the street from where the fire happened on Rosedale Rd. Neighbors say the family in the house where the fire broke out was having a combined birthday and Fourth of July party. Gan adds that DeMuynck is a "true hero" for his actions.

McGarvey says DeMuynck was part of a crew that went up to the third floor of the home to put out the fire. A mayday call went out at 11:02 p.m., and that he’s not quite sure about what occurred afterward.

Several agencies are assisting with the investigation as word spreads that this town lost a hero.

"His dedication was second to none, he was here almost every day," said Ted Schmid, Chief with the Penn Wynne-Overbrook Hills Fire Company. 

The Poukas family, who lives in the neighborhood, says they celebrated the fire department yesterday at the local Fourth of July parade but they never expected to be back today offering their deepest condolences.

"We thought it would be nice to pay our respects," said Valeriya Poukas. "We are so heartbroken for the family."



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