By Esteban Parra, Delaware News Journal: The child fatally run over by an off-duty Wilmington firefighter Sunday was the son of another city firefighter who was participating in a memorial walk remembering firefighters killed in a blaze seven years ago, officials said.
“While members were gathering for the memorial walk, an off-duty firefighter’s child was struck by a vehicle,” said Capt. Matthew Marsella, a Wilmington Fire Department spokesman. “The child, 3-year-old male, was taken to Wilmington Hospital and was pronounced deceased.
“The vehicle that struck the child was driven by another off-duty firefighter who was attempting to park and participate in the memorial event.”
The 3-year-old boy has not been identified and Marsella referred further comment to Wilmington Police, who are conducting an investigation of the incident.
Firefighters were attending and participating in the seventh anniversary of a house fire in the city’s Canby Park neighborhood that resulted in three Wilmington firefighters losing their lives.
Wilmington firefighters were dispatched to 1927 Lakeview Road in the early hours of Sept. 24, 2016, after Beatriz Fana-Ruiz intentionally started a fire in her father and stepmother’s Wilmington rowhome.
Arriving firefighters received incorrect information that people were still inside so three firefighters — Capt. Christopher Leach, Lt. Ardythe Hope and firefighter Brad Speakman — rushed into the first floor of the burning home. Shortly after, the first floor collapsed, sending the three plummeting into the burning basement.
More firefighters, including Lt. Jerry Fickes, rushed to their rescue. Fickes was carrying Leach out when another portion of the floor collapsed, trapping them.
Leach and Fickes died on the scene. Hope died months later.
Speakman was hospitalized for 40 days.
On the anniversary of the arson, several gathered to commemorate the event by participating in a memorial run. The run passes by the different fire stations the deceased firefighters were assigned to, with the run ending at 1927 Lakeview Road.
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