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Fallen Brothers» Gloucester City Collapse

Line of Duty Death      Our condolences to the Stewart, Sylvester, and West families, and the Gloucester City Fire Department and the Mount Ephraim Volunteer Fire Department. FireFighter Thomas Stewart III of the Gloucester City Fire Department, Chief James Sylvester and Deputy Chief John West of the Ephraim Volunteer Fire Department died Thursday July 4, 2002. Eight firefighters and three children were trapped in a 3 family duplex structure fire in Gloucester City when the building collapsed. Five firefighters were rescued from the rubble. The 3 children and 3 firefighters from two departments died in the collapse. A total of nine victims were transported to area hospitals, including one civilian and eight firefighters.

     Firefighter/EMT Thomas Stewart III, 30, a 7 year veteran of the Gloucester City Fire Department. Our brother Thomas leaves behind his fiancee and their 16 month old son. Thomas proposed to his girlfriend, Danielle Ruggiero, hours before while they watched the city's fireworks from high atop a firetruck ladder at Gloucester City High School. Viewing to be held Tuesday July 9, 2002 6-9PM at St Mary's Catholic Church in Gloucester. Mass of Christian Burial to be held Wednesday July 10, 2002.

     Chief James Sylvester, 31, a 17 year veteran of the Mt. Ephraim Volunteer Fire Department. Our brother James leaves behind his wife, Marilyn, who is pregnant with the couple's first child. Viewing to be held Sunday July 7, 2002 4-9PM at Gardner Funeral Home in Mount Ephraim. Mass of Christian Burial to be held Monday July 8, 2002 11AM at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Mount Ephraim.

     Deputy Chief John West, 40, a 23 year veteran of the Mt. Ephraim Volunteer Fire Department was also was chief investigator for the Camden County Fire Marshal's Office. Our brother John leaves behind his wife and three children. Viewing to be held Monday July 8, 2002 5-9PM at Milano Funeral Home in Mount Ephraim. Mass of Christian Burial to be held Tuesday July 9, 2002 11AM at Sacred Heart Church in Mount Ephraim.

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