A funeral procession took place on Saturday for Daniel Sweeney, a local firefighter who was killed in the line of duty last Monday.
A five-alarm blaze broke out last 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.
A viewing and memorial took place for both firefighters on Friday. Another viewing for Sweeney took place Saturday morning between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. at St. Cecilia's Church on 535 Rhawn Street in Philadelphia. A funeral service began immediately after. Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers was among the speakers. Sweeney's three sisters presented the sacraments.
A procession then took place from St. Cecilia's to the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery on 4001 W. Cheltenham Avenue in Philadelphia. It was there that Sweeney was finally laid to rest.
"Dan was always excited about being a firefighter," said Deputy Chief Derrick Sawyer, who trained Sweeney. "He was the youngest person in the class and he accelerated and excelled in all the things we asked him to do."
Two private viewings for Lieutenant Neary also took place on Saturday.
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: