Michael Hazell

First female firefighter line of duty death in Philadelphia

Blog Post created by Michael Hazell Employee on Dec 10, 2014

DownloadSuch sad news from earlier this week; a Philadelphia firefighter died battling a blaze in the West Oak Lane neighborhood and became the city's first female firefighter to die in the line of duty. 

Joyce Craig-Lewis was one of 150 women on the department and an 11-year veteran. She is survived by two children, a 16-year-old-son and 16-month-old daughter, as well as her parents, two sisters, and a brother.

Mayor Nutter remarked that Craig-Lewis loved her job, and was a highly-trained firefighter who served in some of the busiest stations in the city on behalf of the citizens. “The fire department, one of the best in the United States of America… has suffered a tremendous loss. That loss extends to all Philadelphians.”

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner said Craig-Lewis was helping fight a fire in the basement of the residence.

“Those that know anything about basement fires knows that basement fires are a challenge," he said. "During this firefight, the incident commander commanded the first arriving company to withdraw from the basement. After the withdraw, they realized that Firefighter Craig Lewis was missing… They were not able to get her out before she passed.”

He added: “I know she was a great firefighter. I know she gave her life protecting the citizens of this city.”

Our thoughts are with her family, fire department and the people of Philadelphia during this time. 

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