Fire deaths increased by one-third while fire-related injuries rose by 4 percent in Philadelphia last year, although both tallies remained well below recent historical peaks, according to year-end statistics released by the Philadelphia Fire Department this month.
A veteran firefighter from Lawncrest’s Engine 64 perished early Tuesday while battling a West Oak Lane basement fire. Joyce Craig-Lewis, 36, is the first woman firefighter to die in the line of duty in Philadelphia, Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
The Philadelphia Fire Department gained a new commissioner on June 14, one day following the retirement of the often-controversial Lloyd Ayers, who served 40 years as a firefighter, including the last decade as commissioner. Mayor Michael Nutter named Derrick Sawyer as Ayers’ successor last month.
Capt. Joseph Zaffino is retiring on Feb. 28 after more than 32 years on the police force.
Members of the Greater Bustleton Civic League last week supported, opposed and tied on neighborhood zoning questions, heard about the temporary closing of a local firehouse and said goodbye to the commander of the 7th Police District.