The tragic loss of Lieutenant Chris Leach and Senior Fire Fighter Jerry Fickes – along with injuries to Senior Firefighter Ardyth Hope and Firefighter Brad Speakman, all members of Wilmington, DE Local 1590 – in a row house fire early on Saturday, September 24, 2016, is being mourned throughout their community and across the IAFF.
Leach and Fickes were killed when the floor of the row house collapsed. Theirs are the first line-of-duty deaths in the Wilmington Fire Department in 18 years.
Leach, 41, who joined the fire department in 2002, leaves behind three children – Brendan (16), Abby (14) Megan (12).
Fickes, 51 and a Wilmington fire fighter since 2003, was married to Laura – his wife of 26 years – and leaves two boys, Benjamin (18) and Joshua (16).
Their loss is a reminder of the sacrifice all of our first responders risk every day they – not knowing if they'll come home at the end of their shift.
Hope, a Senior Firefighter assigned to E-5C, and Speakman, a fire fighter assigned to E1-C, were operating inside the burning when they became trapped.
Wilmington Local 1590 is accepting donations for the families during this very difficult time. Please consider even a small donation – every little bit helps and all donations collected will go to the families. The Wilmington Firefighters Association plans to devide and give the funds to the intended beneficiaries. All funds will be proccessed through the Wilmington Police and Fire Federal Credit Union and distributed to the families via bank check.