Funeral arrangements have been announced for a veteran firefighter who was killed when a fast-moving fire roared through a North Philadelphia row home Saturday morning.
Public viewings will be held Thursday, January 11 from 4:30 p.m to 9 p.m. and Friday, January 12 at 9 a.m. at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. The Cathedral is located at 18th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Family and friends will gather for a funeral mass to remember Lieutenant Matthew LeTourneau on Friday, January 12 at Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul at 11 a.m.
Interment will follow at Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery in Springfield, Pa.
City officials say Lt. LeTourneau, 42, 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.
Governor Tom Wolf ordered flags flown at half-staff in honor of the fallen lieutenant, which includes flags on the Capitol complex and at all Commonwealth buildings in Philadelphia. The order starts Tuesday at sunrise and continues through sunset Saturday.
“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.
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.