Philadelphia Firefighters Battle Two-Alarm Fire; Lieutenant Killed in Collapse

NORTH PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) – A veteran firefighter and a resident were killed when a fast-moving fire roared through a North Philadelphia row home Saturday morning.

City officials say 42-year-old Lieutenant Matthew LeTourneau was pinned under debris inside the home when it collapsed. He was rescued by fellow firefighters and taken to the hospital. The 11-year-veteran was pronounced dead a short time later.

The fire broke out shortly before 9 a.m. on the 2200 block of North Colorado Street.

A 1993 graduate of Cardinal O’Hara High School, Lt. LeTourneau 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.

“Our hearts are breaking,” said Fire Commissioner Adam K. Thiel. “We are without words.”

“I am deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Lt. Matthew LeTournea,” Mayor Kenney said in a statement. “I am grateful for his outstanding service to our city during his 11-year career.”

Authorities say a person inside the home also died in the blaze. Another person from a neighboring home was taken to Temple University Hospital and was listed in critical condition.

Two other firefighters were also injured in the fire and transported to the hospital. Their injuries are not considered life-threatening.

Funeral arrangements for Lt. LeTourneau have not yet been announced.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


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