Aerial Ladder Malfunctions, Killing Pennsylvania Deputy Chief

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Lawrence Park Township, Penn. Deputy Chief Mike Crotty was killed at the scene of a fire on April 8, according to Chief Dan Mentley.

The incident occurred at approximately 3:45 pm when the department's Ladder 289 responded to a building fire at Port Erie Plastics.

The 24-year-old volunteer firefighter took command of the fire upon arrival and was on the ground directing firefighters when the aerial truck's ladder malfunctioned, fatally injuring him, Mentley said.

Further details are currently unavailable as Pennsylvania State Police and the district attorney's office continues their investigation.

Following the incident, Crotty was attended to by paramedics and transported by an ambulance to Hamot Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 4:56 p.m.

Crotty had been a member of the volunteer department for the past 6 years, but had helped the department since he was 14 years old, Mentley said.

Crotty was hired as a paid firefighter with the Erie Bureau of Fire on Jan. 14.

"I knew Mike pretty well; he was my deputy chief," Mentley said. "The loss Mike will be felt for a long time in this department. He was a key person in our training.

"The amount of knowledge he had was staggering considering his young age."

Funeral Information

Visitation for Deputy Chief Crotty will be held Thursday, April 10 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. for family and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for the public and Friday, April 11 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m at Iroquois High School Auditorium, 4231 Morse Street, Erie, PA.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, April 12 at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Mercy, 837 Bartlett Road, Harborcreek, PA.

Interment will follow at St. Gregory Cemetery.