Wilmington Firefighter Ardy Hope Remembered, Honored

The veteran firefighter will be laid to rest with honors

Funeral services for a senior Wilmington firefighter who died months after battling a suspected arson took place Saturday.

Funeral services at the Chase Center on the Riverfront along Justison Street began with a 10 a.m. to noon viewing. A public funeral and memorial follwed at 1 p.m. Firefighters didn't reveal burial details.

"Our hearts are broken as we mourn the loss of Senior Firefighter Ardythe Hope," said Mayor Dennis P. Williams.

Hope died Dec. 1 after battling injuries suffered in a deadly arson back in September. The fire already claimed Lt. Christopher Leach and Senior Firefighter Jerry Fickes.

She overcame a brain tumor to become a prosperous firefighter, said Wilmington Fire Chief Antony Goode. Hope, a single mother of 3, had plans to retire from the fire department to pursue a nursing career, said Goode.

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

The department planned to give Hope a full honors funeral.

Police said 27-year-old Beatrice Fana-Ruiz is charged with arson and murder for intentionally setting the fire in the Canby Park neighborhood.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Hope's name to the Wilmington Police and Fire Credit Union, 1701 Shallcross Ave. Suite B Wilmington, DE 19806.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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