Damn. ACFD lost a piece of history. ops: :cry:

ATLANTIC CITY--A house fire in Atlantic City claims the life of one of the state's oldest firefighters. Members of the city's fire department say the former deputy chief is gone, but certainly not forgotten.

When Atlantic City firefighters arrived on the scene of a house fire on Michigan Avenue last night, they made the grim discovery of one of their own in an upstairs bedroom. "He saved people's lives," said Mayor Scott Evans, "the unfortunate irony of the situation is he passed in the arms of his brother firefighters."

101 year-old Ed Jordan was the third oldest firefighter in the state, the sixth oldest in the country. With a long record of public service, he started as a police officer in Atlantic City before serving the fire department for 41 years. Retiring as a deputy chief, he was injured 48 times in-the-line-of-duty. "He had commanded, personally, over 200 fires in his career," said Chief Brooks, "he became somewhat of a celebrity in the Atlantic City Fire Department."

Seen in file footage celebrating his 100th birthday, Jordan was sharp as a tack and never lost his wit. "I enjoy good health," said Jordan in 2006, "and do you want to know my secret? good beer and bad women."

"He was a good old guy," said Catherine Jordan, his ex-daughter-in-law, "I was devastated this morning." Family members are still having trouble coping with the loss of a man who's spirit was larger than life, "He'll be talked about for years. He was tough, but I'll tell you, he was a good chief and a good fireman."

"His mind was sharp at 101 years old," said Chief Brooks, "it's just, in the end, his body failed him, and he couldn't get out of the smoke."

Authorities are still trying to determine the cause of the fire, although they believe it started in the basement and quickly moved up to the second floor. They say there were smoke detectors with batteries in the house, but it's unknown if they were in working condition. "You only have two minutes from the time a smoke detector operates to get out of the building," said Chief Brooks, "so it would've taken him a lot longer at his age."

Fire officials say while Chief Jordan is gone, his memory will live on forever in their department.

The city will honor Chief Jordan with a full firefighters funeral Saturday. A viewing will be held Friday night. ops: :cry: