Inside Engine 53 in South Philadelphia the sound of bagpipes swelled as firefighters lined in salute. Nearly 7 months after Battalion Chief Mike Goodwin lost his life, a plaque was dedicated in his honor.
His wife, children, and grandchildren were standing by.
Mike Goodwin Jr. spoke of his father at today's event, saying, "You knew him as this big, tall mustached firefighter that would go in and pull anybody out, and go into the… you know what. But what I saw when he walked in was a big, tall teddy bear."
Back in April, 53-year-old Goodwin died in a partial roof collapse after a fire on Fabric Row in Queen Village was extinguished. Goodwin was a Navy man. He served as a Philadelphia firefighter for 29 years. His son Mike Jr. is a Bucks County firefighter who will take the test next month in hopes of becoming one in Philadelphia.
Mike Jr. told Action News, "When he walked in the door, he never really took his cape off, he was always a hero to somebody. He was always a hero to me when he walked in that house in his uniform."
Now Chief Goodwin's 5-year-old grandson could be following in his footsteps too. Plaque sponsor Jimmy Binns welcomed him up to be sworn in by the commissioner, who pinned a shield to his coat.
This ceremony of course was to honor Chief Goodwin, but over and over we heard it was also to show his family how many people are behind him.
In presenting the plaque, Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said, "This plaque will be dedicated in Chief Michael Goodwin's name, so that all the children, all the men and women that pass through these portals understand that here a mighty man served."