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Philadelphia Fire Department Line of Duty Death
Transcript of Philadelphia Fire Department Line of Duty Death
August 20, 2004
Routine Night at the Station
"When we first got there, it didn't look different from any other fire."
John D. Taylor Jr.
November 30, 1950 - August 20, 2004
"The coward dies a thousand deaths, the valiant die but one."
On the night of August 20th 2004 the City of Philadelphia Lost the 276th and 277th member of the Philadelphia Fire Department in the Line of Duty. In a final act of heroism Captain John Taylor laid down his life to try and save his fellow brother. A sacrifice that will never be forgotten. That day a Son, Brother, Husband, Father and Grandfather were lost. The lives of all effected will forever be changed but the memory of the fallen will stay the same.
Shift started at 18:00
Reporting for duty on Engine 28
DPOP: Walter Milewski 5yrs
Captain: John D. Taylor Jr. 32yrs
Firefighter: Rey Rubio 12yrs
Firefighter: William Studley 1yr
The crew of Engine 28 had just finished eating and were getting ready to watch the Philadelphia Eagles play the Baltimore Ravens in a preseason match up. Kickoff was scheduled for 8:00pm
At 20:00 hrs Box 1249 was struck for 3630 Belgrade St. in the Port Richmond Section of the city
Engine 28 responded they were first-due
Upon Arrival Engine 28 found a 2 story middle of the row dwelling with smoke showing
Captain Taylor placed Engine 28 and Ladder 10, first-due ladder company, in service.
Captain Taylor, Firefighters Rubio and Studley went into service with an 1 3/4" hose line. The crew entered the first floor of the dwelling and quickly determined it was a basement fire. The crew proceeded down the steps into the basement towards the seat of the fire. The basement was filled with debris and clutter. Conditions were not severe at this point.
The fire was concealed and smoldering in a closeted area used for an illegal marijuana grow operation. Conditions in the basement began to deteriorate considerably. Captain Taylor decided to withdraw his crew to the first floor in anticipation of a potential flashover. The crew of Engine 28 proceeded to exit the basement.
Upon exiting the basement Firefighter Rubio was unable to get through the debris and became entangled. Captain Taylor ,realizing that Rubio was in trouble, would not continue on and attempted to disentangle Rubio. Captain Taylor ordered Firefighter Studley to follow the hoseline out of the basement.
Conditions in the basement began to deteriorate rapidly as Taylor was struggling to disentangle Rubio from the debris, the fire burning in the closeted area began to consume the rest of the basement.
With conditions being critical at 20:18 hrs Captain John Taylor radioed fire communication center to report that him and Firefighter Rey Rubio were in serious trouble.
Even with the greatest rescue efforts to save the two men companies were unable to reach their fallen brothers due to the volume of fire. Unfortunately the two firefighters passed away due to asphyxiation
Graduated from the Fire Academy in 1992
Assigned to Ladder 22 for 11yrs
Assigned to Engine 28 for the duration of his career
In 1994 Received a Unit Commendation for evacuating residents from a roof of a factory in Fairhill with out injuries
Came from a family of 8 brothers and sisters
Loving Daughter Amelia and Grandson Devin
Graduated from Olney High School
Veteran of The United States Air Force
Big Sports fan loved the Eagles and 76ers
Graduated the Fire Academy in 1973
Originally stationed at Ladder 25 he then worked at Engine 30, Ladder 12, Ladder 15, Promoted to Captain at Engine 64 and Finishing his Career at Engine 28
Received Numerous Citations including the Heroism Award
Served in the Army Reserves
Loving Wife Charlene, 3 kids John, Lauren, and stepson Dan
Great athlete loved softball and football
Traveled with his PFD brothers to play in annual MDA softball tournament in Maryland
Based on Jim Harvey's speech structures
January 22, 1962 - August 20, 2004
In Loving Memory Of Captain John D. Taylor and Firefighter Rey Rubio who made the supreme sacrifice