Remembering Fire Captain Michael Goodwin

Hun­dreds of mo­tor­cyc­lists rode from Port Rich­mond to South Phil­adelphia in hon­or of Capt. Good­win.

Hun­dreds of mo­tor­cyc­lists rode an hon­or ride in re­mem­brance of Capt. Mi­chael Good­win on Tues­day night from Port Rich­mond to South Philly.

The Phil­adelphia Fire De­part­ment and the Kens­ing­ton com­munity lost “a hero” when Fire Cap­tain Mi­chael Good­win per­ished while bat­tling a three-alarm blaze in a South Philly fab­ric store on Sat­urday night.

Ac­cord­ing to fire de­part­ment of­fi­cials, Good­win, 53, was on the roof of the burn­ing shop when it col­lapsed and he be­came trapped in the rubble.

Good­win, a hus­band and fath­er of two, lived in Park­wood, but he grew up near Cum­ber­land Street and Trenton Av­en­ue, gradu­ated from Mast­baum Tech, re­mained act­ive in St. Mi­chael’s Luther­an Church and spent much of his ca­reer as a mem­ber of Lad­der 16 at Bel­grade and Hunt­ing­don streets.

On Tues­day, April 9, hun­dreds of mo­tor­cyc­lists con­greg­ated in the park­ing lot of Lowe’s at Ara­mingo Av­en­ue and But­ler Street for an “hon­or ride” to En­gine 53, Lad­der 27 at Fourth and Snyder Streets in South Philly, where Capt. Good­win worked.

Ped­es­tri­ans and pass­ers-by watched as for al­most an hour pri­or to the ride mo­tor­cycle clubs as­sembled.

“I knew it would be like this,” said Capt. Chris Beale, a fire­fight­er in Roxbor­ough and mo­tor­cyc­list who par­ti­cip­ated in the ride, look­ing at the massive crowd. “This brings every­body to­geth­er. It would be just like this for a po­lice, too.”

At 7:30 p.m., en­gines roar­ing, hun­dreds of mo­tor­cyc­lists from po­lice, fire, vet­er­ans’, and oth­er law en­force­ment-sup­port­ing mo­tor­cycle clubs star­ted rolling out onto Ara­mingo Av­en­ue and con­tin­ued down to South Philly. Fire en­gines from Phil­adelphia and fire de­part­ments out­side the city, and an es­cort of city and state po­lice, led the riders.

Good­win, a 29-year vet­er­an, was in com­mand of Lad­der 27 on Sat­urday when fire broke out at the Jack B. Fab­rics store, on the 700 block of S. Fourth St., shortly after 5:30 p.m. The first ar­riv­ing fire­fight­ers ob­served heavy smoke on the first two floors of the three-story build­ing, Fire Com­mis­sion­er Lloyd Ay­ers said.

A second alarm was struck at 6:04 p.m. A short time later, Good­win was on the roof when it col­lapsed to the floor be­low.  A third alarm was struck at 6:30 p.m. Good­win died at the scene. He is sur­vived by his wife Kelly, his adult daugh­ter Dorothy Dunn, his adult son Mi­chael Jr., two grand­chil­dren, his moth­er Eliza­beth, three sib­lings and nu­mer­ous oth­er re­l­at­ives.

Good­win was posthum­ously pro­moted to bat­talion chief.

“My fath­er, Chief Mike Good­win, served the cit­izens of Phil­adelphia for 29 years as a ded­ic­ated fire­fight­er,” Mike Good­win Jr. said. “He was also a de­voted hus­band, fath­er and grand­fath­er. … He would help out any­body he could. It didn’t mat­ter who you were, he would run in­to that build­ing and pull you out.”

View­ings were held for Good­win last night and this morn­ing at John F. Givn­sh Fu­ner­al Home, with a Life Cel­eb­ra­tion Ser­vice sched­uled for noon today at St. Mi­chael’s, 2139 E. Cum­ber­land St. In­ter­ment will be at Hill­side Cemetery in Roslyn.

The fam­ily asks that all gifts be made to the Fire­fight­er Wid­ows Fund, c/o Loc­al 22, 415 N. Fifth St., Phil­adelphia, PA 19123. ••

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