A memorial to the men that two Philadelphia firefighters who died early Monday fighting a warehouse fire in the Kensington neighborhood grew outside Ladder Company 10.Throughout the day, people brought plates of food to the firehouse and stopped to leave flowers around two pairs of boots. A nurse from the neighborhood stopped by. Others brought their children. Baptist Minister, Joan Sendef drives a canteen truck to emergency scenes for the Salvation Army.
“My two half brothers were firefighters. one served 30 years. one served 32. And the fire department’s really close to me,” said Sendef.Sendef was familiar with Lieutenant Robert Neary, 60, who was killed alongside Daniel Sweeney, 25. “You see the different firemen,” she said. “You know them from the back of their uniforms. They have their names on the back of their turnout gear and you see them in action. They’re always up in front. There’s never a thought of personal danger.”Mike Walsh lives three blocks from the fire site. He woke up in the middle of the night when alarms in his house went off from the smoke wafting in.Walsh says neighbors have called in regular complaints about the neglected warehouse and asked for the first floor to be sealed off. He says they were told the city didn’t have the resources or manpower to respond. “It’s a tragedy when two heroes put their life on the line to make sure everyone in the City of Philadelphia is safe and they lose their lives because of it,” said Walsh.One more firefighter is in critical but stable condition at Temple Hospital. In total, five firefighters were inside a building adjoining the warehouse when a wall collapsed.