Funeral services begin today for two firefighters who were killed in the line of duty.
A five-alarm fire broke out Monday just before 3:30 a.m. at a building on 1817 East York Street in Kensington. The blaze spread to a furniture factory next door.
After the fire was out, Lt. Robert Neary, 60, and Firefighter Daniel Sweeney, 25, went back into the furniture factory on a routine sweep to make sure that fire had not reignited. That's when a wall collapsed, then part of the roof, burying Neary, Sweeney and two other crew members from Ladder 10 in a mound of brick and timber. The other two firefighters, Patrick Nally and Frances Cheney, survived. Nally is currently listed in guarded condition.
A viewing and memorial for Lieutenant Neary begins Friday at 4 p.m. at the Givinish Funeral Home. The home is located at 10975 Academy Road in Philadelphia. Two private viewings for family and Philadelphia firefighters only will take place on Saturday.
A viewing will be held for Firefighter Daniel Sweeney on Friday between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. at St. Cecilia’s Church on 535 Rhawn Street in Philadelphia. Another viewing will take place Saturday, between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. also at St. Cecilia’s. That viewing will then be immediately followed by a service, also at St. Cecilia’s. Finally, an interment for Sweeney will take place that Saturday immediately after the service at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery on 4001 W. Cheltenham Avenue in Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Firefighters & Paramedics' Union also released the following statement regarding donations:
In lieu of flowers, the families of Lieutenant Robert Neary and Firefighter Daniel Sweeney have requested that donations be made to charity. Lieutenant Neary’s family asks that donations be made to Local 22 Widow’s Fund and Firefighter Sweeney’s family requests that donations be made to any charity of the donor’s choice in the name of Firefighter Daniel Sweeney. More information about Local 22’s Widow Fund can be attained through Local 22: