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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, April 06, 2013 11:57 pm

Firefighter dies battling Philadelphia blaze

The Associated Press

A Philadelphia firefighter has died after part of roof collapsed during a blaze he was battling.

Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said at a news conference late Saturday that a second firefighter was injured while trying to rescue his colleague.

Firefighters saluted as the body of 53-year-old Capt. Michael Goodwin was carried from the remnants of the burned building in the city's Fabric Row section.

Ayers says he was killed in a fall from the third floor roof to the second.

The colleague who tried save him is 28-year-old Andrew Godlinski. He suffered burns but is expected to survive.

The fire's cause wasn't immediately known.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

A fire burned a fabric shop, upstairs apartments and a neighboring boutique Saturday evening, causing a partial roof collapse that killed a firefighter and injured a colleague who was trying to rescue him, officials said.

One firefighter was killed in the line of duty, Amy Daly, a nursing supervisor at Jefferson University Hospitals, told The Associated Press. The second firefighter was hospitalized with burns, officials told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The dead firefighter's name was not immediately released, but other firefighters said he held the rank of captain in a ladder company. His comrades saluted as his body was carried out and taken to the hospital.

The fire broke out around 5 p.m. at Jack B. Fabrics in South Philadelphia's Fabric Row section and spread to Urban Princess, a store next door. The stores' proprietors said everyone in both buildings at the time of the fire managed to escape.

The fire's cause wasn't immediately known, but fabric store owner Bruce Blumenthal said he believes it started in a wall and may have been electrical in nature.

Blumenthal said he smelled smoke coming from the basement and found a box of collars and cuffs on fire. He tried to put the flames out with an extinguisher, to no avail.

The fire cut power to more than 300 customers. The Red Cross is assisting at least 17 people.

Two city firefighters died a year ago this month when a building collapsed while they were inspecting it after an adjacent blaze.