Memorial Day: Remembering One of Many

Philadelphia firefighters work to rescue colleagues trapped in a row house collapse on the 300 block of West Indiana on June 18, 2022. (Elizabeth Robertson/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

As a firefighter and a certified fire investigator, indoctrinated in the importance of fire investigations, whether it’s to make a manufacturer, civilians and governing bodies (and myself for that matter) aware of faulty products, or poor construction or content loading practices, or simply identifying an incendiary fire, I can almost never walk onto the scene of any incident, and specifically a fire scene and not be thinking, “What foulness is at play here?”

On Saturday, June 18, 2022, two Philadelphia firefighters were critically injured, and Lt. Sean Williamson, 51, a 27 year veteran of the Philadelphia Fire Department was killed when a building, which housed a pizza shop and some upstairs apartments, collapsed after the fire was contained. As a result of the investigation, two men Al-Ashraf Khalil and Isaam Jaghama, were arrested and charged with conspiracy and malicious damage. Authorities said Khalil and Jaghama entered the restaurant’s basement doors and started a fire in the kitchen.

My heartfelt thoughts and regards go out to the lieutenant’s family at this time.

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