Pennsylvania Firefighter Collapses at Scene

Updated: 09-17-2007 09:01:36 AM

Elizabeth Skrapits
Courtesy of The Citizens Voice

Fire Police Captain William McDaniels Sr., 51, of Mocanaqua Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 fell fatally ill Saturday while responding to a fire in Shickshinny.

A memorial service with full honors will be conducted by the fire company he served with for more than 15 years.

"This is the first time we ever had someone die in the line of duty," said Mocanaqua fire company treasurer John Levalley, who was at the scene of the fire.

The call to answer a fire alarm at the Shickshinny High Rise came in at 3:58 p.m. There was a small fire, caused by a resident's candle on a stove burner, Levalley said.

But by the time the Mocanaqua fire company arrived, the Shickshinny Volunteer Fire Company already had it out.

During the incident, McDaniels showed signs of respiratory distress, Levalley said.

"Ambulances, luckily, were right there," Levalley said. "In less than five minutes he was on the way to the hospital."

McDaniels was declared dead at the Berwick Hospital Center.

"Not long after we came back from the fire, the chief and I went to the Berwick hospital, and that's when we found he had passed away," Levalley said. "We think it might have been a massive heart attack. There were signs."

< An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of McDaniels' death, Levalley said. Since McDaniels died in the line of duty, the state fire commissioner has to be brought in.

Republished with permission from The Citizens Voice

Funeral Information

Visitation for Fire Police Captain McDaniels will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18 at the Mayo Funeral Home, 77 N. Main St., Shickshinny.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 11 a.m.