Philadelphia firefighter killed in line of duty

Police officers and fellow firefighters saluted Captain Michael Goodwin’s body at a funeral home on Sunday.
Joseph Kaczmarek/Associated Press
Police officers and fellow firefighters saluted Captain Michael Goodwin’s body at a funeral home on Sunday.

PHILADELPHIA — The mayor of Philadelphia ordered flags flown at half-staff on Sunday and called for prayers for the family and colleagues of a veteran fire captain killed when a roof collapsed beneath him as he battled a blaze, the third city firefighter killed in the line of duty in a year.

Captain Michael Goodwin, 53, plunged onto the second-floor roof of the three-story building in the Fabric Row section during Saturday night’s blaze. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Fellow firefighter Andrew Godlewski, 28, who was burned on his hands while trying to rescue Goodwin, was discharged Sunday from a hospital, officials said.

‘‘We must never forget the grave risks that these heroic public servants take every day at a moment’s notice on behalf of us all,’’ Mayor Michael Nutter said in a statement Sunday.


At a news conference late Saturday, Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said Goodwin was a 29-year veteran. ‘‘He was the kind of guy who looked out for his folks,’’ he said.

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Goodwin leaves his wife, two grown children, and three siblings, one of whom is a police officer, he said.

Police officers and fellow firefighters saluted as Goodwin’s body, draped in an American flag, was carried to a hospital and, later, to a funeral home.

The loss came as the fire department prepared to mark a year since an April 9 blaze at a warehouse that killed Captain Robert Neary, 59, and Daniel Sweeney, 25. They also died in a collapse, which came as they inspected an adjacent building.

Nutter ordered flags flown at half-staff at all city buildings for the next 30 days in Goodwin’s honor, officials said.


At Goodwin’s fire station deep in South Philadelphia, bouquets were clustered on and around a wooden bench along with a large toy fire truck and ladder.

The American Red Cross of southeastern Pennsylvania said 17 residents were displaced by the blaze, and three of them needed financial help with hotels, food and clothing.

The blaze appeared to have started in a fabric store downstairs before spreading to upstairs apartments and a neighboring boutique, the store’s owner said. The proprietors of both stores said everyone in both buildings at the time of the fire managed to escape.

The fire’s cause wasn’t immediately known.

Associated Press