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Philly firefighter calls himself an ‘idiot’ for tiki torch, Confederate flag Facebook post

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Other than admitting to being drunk, Philadelphia Fire Department Firefighter John Deluisi makes no excuses for his off-duty Facebook post that he says was a very bad joke. Deluisi tagged an African-American firefighter when he posted the photo of himself carrying a burning tiki torch and wearing a Confederate hat. The caption read, “Headed to VA.”

The Facebook post is one of a number of SMACSS (Social Media Assisted Career Suicide Syndrome) incidents in recent days about the deadly clashes in Charlottesville that have caused some trouble for firefighters, cops and others.

Deluisi’s response is one of the more rapid and complete apologies I’ve seen with stories like this. Probably a very smart move.


“I am very disappointed in myself and I’m very sorry.”

“You know I was drinking way too much. It was on my back deck and me and him we joke back and forth and it was just a stupid dumb joke,” Deluisi told FOX 29.

Deluisi says the picture was all a bad joke. He says he was responding to another post referencing Charlottesville. He also admits it went too far. It has since been taken down. But not before offending many residents who pay Deluisi’s salary.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney calls the post “deeply disturbing.”

“I am and idiot. I am very sorry. Maybe I get too carried away on Facebook and I put something up there that is stupid. I thought he would get a joke about it. I really did it was very stupid,” Deluisi said.

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