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Philadelphia Fire Captain Michael Goodwin to get posthumous promotion

Philadelphia Fire Department Captain Michael Goodwin, 53, died fighting a 3-alarm fire in Queen Village on Saturday April 6, 2013. Goodwin is being posthumously promoted to battalion chief.
April 8, 2013 9:53:35 PM PDT
A Philadelphia firefighter who was killed as he battled a weekend fire will get a posthumous promotion.

Capt. Michael Goodwin, 53, plunged from the roof of a three-story building in the city's Queen Village section Saturday night. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Another firefighter, 28-year-old Andrew Godlewski, was burned while trying to rescue him.

Goodwin, a 29-year veteran, had recently taken the test for a promotion to battalion chief. Executive Fire Chief Richard Davison says the promotion will enhance his family's benefits.

Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers says he had been hoping that Goodwin would one day make chief.

Goodwin is survived by a wife and two grown children. Goodwin's son, Michael Goodwin Jr., spoke to the media on behalf of the family on Monday afternoon, praising his father's love and dedication.

"My dad was a loving man, a caring man, a hard worker, a Navy man, a church-going man," said his son, Michael Goodwin Jr. "He taught me everything I need to know to be a man."

"The real thing I'm going to miss is giving him a hug....putting my head on his chest and feeling that mustache hit me right here on the head and giving me a kiss," added Michael.

Before meeting with the family of Captain Goodwin, Mayor Michael Nutter toured the scene where crews have started tearing down the destroyed building.

"There's not much I can really say. We're sorry, we're hurt, we're in pain, but our hurt and pain is nothing compared to what they're feeling," said Nutter.

Meanwhile, a ceremony that had been planned to honor two firefighters killed in the line of duty last April will now include Goodwin.

Bill Gault, president of Local 22, was set to honor Lt. Robert Neary and Daniel Sweeny during the ceremony Tueday at City Hall. Those men died in a five-alarm factory fire in Kensington.

Gault, who grew up with Goodwin, will now add his friend's name to the ceremony.

"The only thing Mikey loved more than this job was his family. He was the guy you wanted next to you," Gault said. "He was a good man."

The funeral plans have also been released for Capt. Goodwin.

A celebration of his life will be held on Wednesday from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Thursday morning from 9:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Relatives, friends, members of the Philadelphia Fire Department Local 22 and all first responders are invited.

The celebrations will be at:

John F. Givnish Funeral Home
10975 Academy Rd.
Philadelphia

Then, the funeral for Capt. Goodwin will be held Thursday at noon at:

St. Michael's Lutheran Church
2139 E. Cumberland St.
Philadelphia

He will be buried afterward at Hillside Cemetery in Roslyn, Pa. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Goodwin's memory can be sent to:

Firefighters Widow Fund
c/o Local 22
415 N. 5th St.
Philadelphia, Pa. 19123

Anyone wishing to share memories of Goodwin can visit www.lifecelebration.com and post details about Goodwin's life.

Mayor Michael Nutter ordered flags flown at half-staff at all city buildings for the next 30 days in Goodwin's honor, officials said.

A cause of the fire has not been determined.


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