It's hard to believe that it's been 5 years since the tragic fire in Gloucester NJ. It was a difficult day for many fire fighters in our area. I awoke for a day of fun with my family, as was my habit I checked the overnight news on my fire pager. I went nuts when I saw that several members of a Camden County FD had been killed in an overnight job. I immediatly started calling my brothers cell until I got an answer he was OK, or as OK as he could be that 2 of his close friends had died in a fire. It was a tough day for him and for every other firefighter from Gloucester City & Mt Ephriam and the surrounding departments. The days that followed showed what true brotherhood was and amazed many in the small working class towns of suburban Camden NJ. Firefighters from all over made their way to Camden County to pay their respects. Fire departments from Delaware & Pennsylvania provided crews and apparatus to staff the stations at Mt Ephraim & Gloucester City for several days after the tragic fire to give the members of those departments time to mourn. The days of the services many more arrived to staff not only those stations but those of the surrounding departments so nobody would have to miss out on paying tribute to their brothers.
Chief James Sylvester & Deputy Chief John West of the Mt Ephriam Fire Dept and Firefighter Thomas Stewart gave the ultimate sacrafice that day trying to save 3 little girls trapped in the blaze. Collette, Alexandra, & Claudia slack also perished in that fire. One person made the statement that God needed 3 strong men to bring those little girls to heaven so he chose Jim, John & Tom to do that job.
You can read more about this tragedy at the following links
Courier Post Article
The Fireman's Prayer