Philadelphia Firefighter Collapses at Scene

Funeral arrangements have been set for Saturday for a Philiadelphia firefighter who collapsed at a fire scene last week.

Firefighter Tracy Champion, 49, was treated at the scene by medics, and rushed to Lankenau Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

"Champ," as he was known to his friends, spent the majority of his 20-year career at Engine 54, and was named Firefighter of the Year in 2004. "He was very helpful to everyone, especially the younger guys," said Jamilah Jones, who's worked with Champion for the past three years.

"He was always so active. He liked to ride his motorcycle, shoot pool and bowl. He really liked sports. That's why we can't believe it. He was always doing something."

When he wasn't on duty at Engine 54, Champion also worked with two different ambulance companies, Physician's Choice and Jeff STAT. "He also loved spending time with his family," Jones said, adding that his friend leaves behind a wife and two sons.

Champion is the 279th firefighter to die in the line of duty since the Philadelphia Fire Department was founded in 1871.

Visitation will be held from9-11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 4 at Sharon Baptist Church, 3955 Conshohocken Ave., where funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. Companies planning to bring apparatus, honor guards or personnel should contact the Philadelphia Fire Academy at 215-686-8062.

On the Net