Wilmington firefighter released from hospital after 41 days

WILMINGTON (WPVI) -- A Wilmington firefighter critically injured in a house fire took a giant leap in his recovery Thursday.

Brad Speakman left Crozer Chester Medical Center after 41 days.

His colleagues were there to share in the occasion.

Speakman, the father of two, a 5- and 7-year-old, suffered burns to over 30 percent of his body while fighting a fire on September 24th.

Though he still has a tough recovery ahead, Speakman says he just can't wait to get home.

"I don't even know if I have the words. I just can't wait to get home and be able to spend time with my family, finally get to see my kids after a long time being confined to the hospital," Speakman said.

Speakman was escorted home by police and firefighters.

Firefighter Ardythe Hope remains in critical condition at the hospital.

"She has shown improvement, not all the improvement that everybody would like to think of, we still need your support. But she is doing some good things making some strides," Wilmington Fire Chief Anthony Goode said.

"We continue our prayers for Ardythe who is still battling. We can't wait for the day that all we join in here for her discharged, as well," Brad's wife, Lauren Speakman, said.

Captain Christopher Leach and Lieutenant Jerry Fickes died in the fire.

The accused arsonist-murderer Beatriz Fana-Ruiz remains behind bars.
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