Philadelphia fire fighter Joyce Craig-Lewis was killed in the line of duty after she became trapped in the cellar of a burning row home on Tuesday morning. Craig-Lewis is the first female member of the Philadelphia Fire Department to be fatally injured while battling a fire.
Craig-Lewis, was part of the first engines deployed Tuesday morning to handle a basement-fire in the West Oak Lane section of the city.
According to Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer, there were no visible flames seen as deployed fire companies made it to the scene. It was soon discovered the blaze was present in the basement of the home.
It is believed Craig-Lewis was working to extinguish the fire and rescue an elderly woman from the blaze. With escalating heat and smoke conditions, fire crews decided to change tactics. Craig-Lewis became trapped while attempting to withdraw from the basement.
Craig-Lewis was a fire fighter team member of Engine 64. She was rushed to Albert Einstein Medical Center. The firefighter had no vital signs when she arrived and was pronounced dead soon afterwards.
Joyce Craig Lewis, 36, was an 11-year, decorated veteran. She is survived by her husband, 16 month old daughter and teenage son.
By D’wayne Stanelli
Image courtesy of Ben Watts – Flickr License