Updated: 12-17-2004 12:06:14 AM

Philadelphia Firefighter Dies in Blaze While Visiting Relatives


POTTSTOWN, Pa. (AP) -- A Philadelphia firefighter was killed in a house fire while visiting relatives Thursday, authorities said.

Edward Butler, 39, was rescued from the home and taken to Pottstown Memorial Medical Center, but later died, according to Pottstown Fire Chief Richard Lengel. A woman whose name was not released was critically injured in the blaze, which broke out shortly before 1 p.m.

Capt. Armand Gersbach of the Philadelphia Fire Marshal's Office said Butler was a paid firefighter with Snorkel 2 in Philadelphia since 1996.

``It's very tragic,'' Gersbach said. ``We feel terrible when anyone dies in a fire.''

Butler and the woman were found in a second-floor bedroom and appeared to have suffered from smoke inhalation, Lengel said. Investigators said the fire may have started in the living room, but the cause had not been determined Thursday night.

``It all appears accidental at this point in time,'' Lengel said. ``There doesn't appear to be anything suspicious.''

Information from: The Mercury