Investigation continues into fatal Wilmington fire

WILMINGTON (WPVI) -- Investigators in Wilmington were back on the scene Wednesday of a house fire that claimed the lives of two firefighters, as they try to piece together exactly what happened.

A police spokesman confirmed that the most seriously injured firefighter to survive Saturday's fire, Ardythe Hope, is the sister-in-law of Wilmington Police Chief Bobby Cummings.

Hope remains in critical but stable condition.

Cummings is asking people pray for the 23-year veteran.

A second injured firefighter, Brad Speakman, is improving. Despite serious burns, he is able to walk down his hospital hallway.

Senior Firefighter Jerry Fickes and Lt. Christopher Leach perished in the blaze.

There is still no word what sparked the fire.

VIDEO: Mayday calls
EMBED More News Videos

The mayday calls from the house fire call in Wilmington.

When he last spoke publicly, the fire chief said firefighters were in the building apparently due to erroneous information.

"The arriving unit, the units first on scene, received reports from the scene, on the street, that people were still trapped inside of the home," Goode said.

Firefighters say they have been amazed by the generosity of people donating food.

Bruce Schweiger, the Firefighters Union President, thanked everyone for their donations.

To help donate, visit
Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.