Fallen firefighter Picozzi laid to rest

March 11, 2008 3:59:40 PM PDT
It was a solemn day in Lower Chichester as members of the tight knit Delaware County fire company delivered one of their own to his final farewell. Firefighter Nick Picozzi Jr. died last Wednesday while battling a house fire. The 7-year fire fighting vet became trapped in the basement and could not be resuscitated when rescued.

Fire companies from across the region and beyond came to salute Picozzi and support his family. Among them were firefighters from sister fire neighboring Claymont that was there the day he lost his life.

"It's probably going to hit today more than it has. We've been up there all week, help covering the station for them," Jim Dugan of the Claymon Fire Company said.

"It's unfortunate that yet another fireman was lost in the line of duty. It kills you to see another brother go," Brian Handlin of Claymont Fire Company said.

Picozzi was a 35-year-old family man. He was the married father of 11 and 13 year old sons. Among those mourning his death are his mother, who is a Lower Chichester fire company auxiliary member and his father who is with the fire police. Brother and sister fire fighters know well the families grief.

"Everytime we go out on a fire call we have this event that could happen. We just train and do everything we can to make sure it doesn't happen, but obviously every family realizes this could happen at anytime," Chief Mark Harris of Claymont said.

"I've been to three of these in the last couple months and it's hard. As soon as he goes past you, that's when you really feel it and say, that could be me. But he gave his life and we're here to honor him. That's what he deserves," David Corrigan of the Edgewood Fire Company said.

Three other firefighters were hurt in the blaze. They suffered non-life threatening injuries. The Lower Chichester fire company has been closed since the fatal fire. They will reopen tomorrow, waiting until after Picozzi has been laid to rest.