Wilmington Firefighter Hurt in Deadly Blaze Dies Months Later - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Wilmington Firefighter Hurt in Deadly Blaze Dies Months Later

Funeral to be held Saturday for Ardy Hope.



    Wilmington Firefighter Dies Months After Arson

    Wilmington’s Fire Department is mourning the loss of Firefighter Ardy Hope. Hope is now one of three firefighters who died battling flames at a row home back in September. A resident in that home faces arson charges. (Published Friday, Dec. 2, 2016)

    A senior Delaware firefighter hurt battling a blaze that claimed the lives of two firefighters lost her battle to recovery Thursday as Ardy Hope died.

    Wilmington Fire Chief Anthony Goode announced Hope died of her injuries sustained in a deadly arson back in September.

    Chief Goode tweeted the Line of Duty Death announcement around 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

    Funeral services will be held Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Chase Center on the Riverfront. A public viewing will begin at 10 a.m. and go until noon followed by a public funeral and memorial to begin at 1 p.m.

    On Friday, Goode addressed reporters about the 23-year veteran's battle following severe injuries sustained in a suspected September arson in Wilmington's Canby Park neighborhood. The fire already claimed Lt. Christopher Leach and Senior Firefighter Jerry Fickes.

    Hope was the first female firefighter and second African-American firefighter to die in the history of the Wilmington Fire Department.

    Goode said Hope, a single mother of 3, had come to him just weeks before the deadly fire to announce her plans to retire from the fire department to pursue a nursing career.

    "She is a wonderful mother and woman," said Goode.

    She overcame a brain tumor to become a prosperous firefighter, said Goode.

    The department planned to give Hope a full honors funeral.

    A fourth firefighter, Brad Speakman, was treated for injuries sustained in the fire and released from the hospital.

    On Oct. 13, Crozer-Chester Medical Center spokesman Grant Gegwich told The News Journal of Wilmington that Hope was downgraded to critical condition at the Upland, Pennsylvania hospital, where she was taken after the Sept. 24 fire.

    She had been listed in critical but stable condition prior to that. Gegwich didn't disclose what caused the change.

    Lt. Christopher Leach and Senior Firefighter Jerry Fickes
    Photo credit: Wilmington Fire Department

    Police said 27-year-old Beatrice Fana-Ruiz is charged with arson and murder for intentionally setting the fire. She could face futher charges in Hope's death.