Firefighter injured in Kensington blaze returns home

April 18, 2012 1:39:54 PM PDT
The last surviving firefighter from that blaze in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, that killed two other firefighters, was released from the hospital Tuesday and welcomed by friends and family.

Family, friends and fellow firefighters waving American flags were among those on hand to greet firefighter Patrick Nally as he was carried out of an ambulance on a stretcher and into his parent's home.

It was a homecoming he was not quite expecting

"Makes me realize what a huge family I really have and it makes me feel awesome, I want to thank everybody from the bottom of my heart," Nally said.

It was back in the early morning hours of April 9th that Nally and firefighter Frances Cheney were injured in the massive warehouse fire in Kensington.

60-year-old Lt. Robert Neary and 25-year-old fellow firefighter Daniel Sweeney were killed when a wall of an adjacent furniture store collapsed while they were battling the 5-alarm blaze.

Before coming home Tuesday, Nally asked to stop by his firehouse, Engine 7, Ladder 10 to visit his colleagues there.

"I miss by brothers, I was happy to go down and see what a great job everybody did with all the flowers and the stuff. It made me feel happy," Nally said.

He says it was very tough seeing that large memorial to his two fellow firefighters who lost their lives that morning.

"Very tough, it got me all worked up," Nally said.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

The vacant warehouse owners had been cited four times for various code violations. Earlier Tuesday, the DA's office announced that a grand jury is investigating the fire.

Mayor Michael Nutter, meanwhile, reacted to news the owners have now hired one of Philadelphia' best defense lawyers.

"They could not come and fix their property or put it in a safe condition. They couldn't find Philadelphia, but they found themselves a damn good lawyer. That says a lot to me about what this situation is about and they know they got some serious stuff on their hands," Nutter said.

Action News attempted to get a response from the spokesman for the New York law firm representing the Lichenstein Brothers, the owners of the warehouse, but as of Tuesday night there was no response.