Northeast Times

Fireman and kin of fallen firemen to get aid

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Fire­fight­er Patrick Nally already has been through hell and back, but he’s still got a life­time of work ahead of him, his col­leagues say.

Nally, 26, suffered two frac­tured ver­teb­rae, a frac­tured pel­vis, a pul­mon­ary ed­ema and a crushed right ankle when a ware­house wall col­lapsed on him and three col­leagues at a Kens­ing­ton fire scene on April 8.

Lt. Robert Neary and Fire­fight­er Daniel Sweeney per­ished in the dis­aster. Fire­fight­er Fran Cheney was in­jured but re­turned to work at Lad­der 10 with­in a month.

Dur­ing the monthly meet­ing of the East Tor­res­dale Civic As­so­ci­ation on May 14, mem­bers of Loc­al 22 of the In­ter­na­tion­al As­so­ci­ation of Fire Fight­ers an­nounced plans for a fund-raiser to be­ne­fit Nally and the fam­il­ies of fallen fire­fight­ers.

It will be on Sat­urday, June 23, at Mag­gie’s Wa­ter­front Caf&ea­cute;, 9242 N. Delaware Ave., a ven­ue known for host­ing many block party-style char­it­able fund-raisers in re­cent years.

In light of past com­plaints of loud mu­sic, ex­cess traffic, lit­ter and dis­orderly be­ha­vi­or from pat­rons, or­gan­izers of the Nally event want to make sure neigh­bors are com­fort­able with the plans.

Ul­ti­mately, the ETCA voted un­an­im­ously to ap­prove the block party un­der cer­tain para­met­ers.

“I hope you and who­ever is plan­ning it, you could all visu­al­ize, ‘What if this was hap­pen­ing on my block?’” ETCA pres­id­ent Lew Halas said to Loc­al 22 mem­ber An­thony Dello Russo. “If you do that, I think you’ll handle it [right].”

Dello Russo said that the party would last from 2 to 6 p.m. and vowed that all out­side mu­sic would be si­lenced no later than 6. In the past, neigh­bors have com­plained about Mag­gie’s fund-raisers con­tinu­ing in­to the late even­ing.

Dello Russo also said that or­gan­izers will in­stall at least 50 “port-a-pots” on the 9200 and 9300 blocks of Delaware Ave., while hir­ing a se­cur­ity de­tail to pre­vent pat­rons from ur­in­at­ing in pub­lic and lit­ter­ing.

Traffic will be man­aged by a shuttle bus ser­vice, Dello Russo said. Pat­rons will be en­cour­aged to park at the Phil­adelphia Fire Academy on State Road, then shuttled to the block party.

Of course, there may be little or­gan­izers can do to pre­vent pat­rons from driv­ing in­to the res­id­en­tial neigh­bor­hood near the ven­ue and park­ing on already-cramped side streets.

After the event, vo­lun­teers will pick up the trash, then the streets will be cleaned.

Dello Russo hopes that the spir­it of the cause will out­weigh any tem­por­ary in­con­veni­ences for neigh­bors.

Nally has a house in West May­fair but is stay­ing with his par­ents in East Tor­res­dale be­cause of his im­mob­il­ity. He is wheel­chair bound and fa­cing many sur­ger­ies to re­con­struct his ankle. He left the house for the first time a couple of days be­fore the civic meet­ing.

“Hope­fully, be­cause of his youth, he’ll be re­cov­er­ing from these in­jur­ies. In ad­di­tion, he was plan­ning to get mar­ried in Ju­ly this year,” Dello Russo said. “And he prob­ably will in a wheel­chair.”

The In­jured Fire­fight­er Patrick Nally Fund is a re­gistered 501(c)(3) non-profit en­tity.

“We don’t want just your ap­prov­al,” Dello Russo told neigh­bors. “We want you to be in­volved and, hope­fully, at­tend.”

The next East Tor­res­dale Civic As­so­ci­ation meet­ing will be on Monday, June 11, at 7 p.m., at Liberty Evan­gel­ic­al Free Church, Linden Av­en­ue and Mil­nor Street. ••

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You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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