Philadelphia fire lieutenant killed in collapse of rowhouse – two others hurt

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Mayday radio traffic from deadly Philadelphia rowhouse fire

Philadelphia Fire Department Lt. Matt LeTourneau, 42, of Engine 45 died this (Saturday) morning after a structural collapse during a rowhouse fire. Lt. LeTourneau was hired in 2007. A civilian removed from the home prior to the collapse also died. Two other firefighters were injured.

Lt. Matthew LeTourneau

Julie Shaw,

Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said an “interior structural collapse” pinned Lt. Matthew LeTourneau, 42, in rubble and debris. It took firefighters and paramedics about 30 minutes to free LeTourneau, who was rushed to Temple University Hospital. He died from his injuries at 11:07 a.m.

A civilian whose name was not released was found dead inside the property, Thiel said.

“We are without words,” Thiel said during a brief news conference that was held outside the hospital on Saturday afternoon.

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LeTourneau was a member of Engine 45. He previously served at Engine 43 and Engine 57. He was promoted to lieutenant in 2015. He received a unit citation in 2010 and a letter of commendation for his service during the World Meeting of Families in 2015.

He graduated from Cardinal O’Hara High School in Springfield in 1993 and 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.

Statement from Mayor Jim Kenney:

I am deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Lt. Matthew LeTourneau. I am grateful for his outstanding service to our city during his 11-year career. It is always a tragedy to lose a first responder in the line of duty. Lt. LeTourneau sacrificed his life trying to save others. Our firefighters demonstrate tremendous acts of heroism every single day. I extend my sincerest condolences to his family. Please keep his loved ones in your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.

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