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Thread: Pennsylvania Firefighter Dies of Injuries

  1. #1
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002

    Pennsylvania Firefighter Dies of Injuries

    Pennsylvania Firefighter Dies of Injuries
    Funeral Information Below

    Updated: 02-06-2007 09:52:50 AM

    Pittsburgh Tribune Review

    A two-alarm house fire in Washington, Washington County, early Sunday claimed a rookie city firefighter who became the department's first on-duty fatality in about 50 years.

    Jeremy LaBella, 27, died after the roof of a former motorcycle shop at the rear of the house collapsed, causing a canopy over a nearby sidewalk to fall on him and firefighter George McMullen, who suffered leg injuries.

    LaBella, of Washington, who was among the first firefighters on the scene, was pronounced dead at 11:15 a.m. at Washington Hospital. The exact cause of death is being investigated by the Washington County coroner.

    "Everybody is heartsick over this. He was so young and very well-liked," said Joe Manning, captain of the Washington City Fire Department. "He had been here just a short time, only three months."

    Fire had engulfed the garage of a building in the 1200 block of Allison Avenue and was spreading to the attached two-story house when firefighters arrived about 9:40 a.m., fire Chief W. Linn Brookman said. A man who lived in the house escaped without injury.

    LaBella, who was unmarried, served on the Canton Township Volunteer Fire Department before joining the city company.

    Washington City Police and state fire marshals are investigating the cause of the blaze.

    LaBella is the first city firefighter to die on the job since 1955, according to Washington Mayor Ken Westcott.

    Manning, who has served with the department for 18 years, said a captain suffered a fatal heart attack after responding to a house fire.

    McMullen, 38, of Washington, was trapped inside the burning home, along with LaBella, when the roof gave way. McMullen tore tendons and ligaments in his ankle and was bruised on his upper body, Manning said. McMullen has served with Washington's fire department for about 12 years.

    Fellow firefighter Nick Blumer performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on LaBella at the scene but to no avail.

    McMullen was treated at Washington Hospital and released, a hospital spokeswoman said. No other injuries were reported.

    Funeral arrangements for LaBella were incomplete.

    "Fire departments from all over the state, and out-of-state places like Wheeling, will come for the service," Manning said. "They will all be here to lend their support and help in any way as we move through this."

    Funeral Information

    Visitation for Firefighter LaBella will be held Tuesday, Feb. 6 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Wednesday, Feb. 7 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the William G. Neal Funeral Home, 925 Allison Avenue, Washington, PA 15301.

    The funeral will be held Thursday, Feb. 8 at 9:30 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Church, 135 W. Chestnut Street, Washington, PA 15301.

  2. #2
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
    LaBella, Jeremy C.

    Age: 27
    Cause of Death: Collapse
    Rank: Firefighter
    Nature of Death: Unknown
    Classification: Career
    Emergency Duty: Yes

    Incident Date: 02/04/2007
    Duty Type: On-Scene Fire
    Incident Time: 09:34
    Activity Type: Advance Hose Lines/Fire Attack (includes Wildland)
    Death Date: 02/04/2007
    Fixed Prop. Use: Residential

    Fire Dept. Info:
    Washington Fire Department
    45 W. Wheeling St.
    Washington , Pennsylvania 15301
    Chief: Linn Brookman

    Initial Summary:
    Firefighter LaBella passed away from injuries received at a working residential structure fire when a portion of the structure, reported to be a canopy, collapsed on LaBella and another firefighter.

    Memorial Fund Info:
    The Jeremy C. LaBella Memorial Fund, Community Bank, 90 West Chestnut Street, Washington PA 15301. (724) 225-5300

  3. #3
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
    Fallen Pennsylvania Firefighter Remembered

    Updated: 02-08-2007 06:38:24 PM

    Story by

    Funeral services were held Thursday morning for fallen Washington firefighter Jeremy LaBella.

    Slideshow Images

    LaBella, 27, of Washington, died Sunday when a porch roof collapsed on top of him and another firefighter.

    The Allison Avenue home was full of propane tanks, some of which exploded.

    Members of more than 200 fire departments from around the country rolled their trucks through downtown Washington, honoring the LaBella.

    "It helps us realize that we may not come home to our friends and family after the tour of duty or the call, and it makes you aware of how dangerous our job really is," said John Simpson, of the Osceola Fire Department in Florida.

    "It's very important to me, because my father and grandfather were volunteer firefighters," said Washington resident Bethany Hatalsky.

    "We understand that and our families, they may not like it, but they understand that," said Jerry Coleman of the Washington Fire Department. "It's the profession we chose, and we're trying to do the best with the calling we chose."

    Thursday's funeral service was followed by a procession.

    LaBella started his firefighting career when he was 14 as a junior firefighter.

    For 13 years, he served as a volunteer.

    Washington Mayor Ken Westcott said LaBella was the first city firefighter to die in the line of duty since 1955. He had only been on the job for a few months.

    LaBella also worked for the Canton Township Volunteer Fire Company.

    "As soon as I found out about it, it was a sick feeling and terribly sad," said firefighter Joe Manning. "He was so young."

    Medics transported Labella's partner, George McMullen, who was also trapped under the roof, to a local hospital.

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