Pennsylvania Fire-Police Officer Dies On Duty

A Pennsylvania fire-police lieutenant died in the line of duty Sunday while operating at the scene of a townhouse fire.


A Pennsylvania fire-police lieutenant died in the line of duty Sunday while operating at the scene of a townhouse fire.

Thomas W. DiOrio, 70, served the West Whiteland Fire Company in Chester County for 11 years. He had just received instructions and was setting up traffic control equipment near the fire scene when he was stricken with a heart attack.

EMTs, paramedics and police officers immediately responded and transported DiOrio to the hospital, but rescuers and medical staff were unable to revive him, said Chief George Turner.

Turner said DiOrio joined the fire department after he retired from the railroad industry. He asked fire officials if there was any way he could contribute to the community, so they offered him a role as a fire-police officer, and "he got into that in a big way," the chief said.

DiOrio not only became one of the most active members of the department, but also volunteered in the community by helping out with parades, concerts and other events.

"He was very giving of his time, and was a very steadying force in the department given his maturity," Turner said. "He adopted the fire service late in life and really loved it."

DiOrio is survived by his wife Doris, three daughters and a son.

Visitation will take place Thursday from 6-9 p.m. at the Dellavecchia, Reilly, and Smith Funeral Home on North Church St. in Westchester. Services will take place Friday at 10 a.m. at Saints Peter and Paul Church on Boot Rd. in Westchester. The burial will follow at the Grove Cemetery in West Whiteland.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the West Whiteland Fire Company at 227 Crest Ave. in Exton, PA 19341.

The West Whiteland Fire Company is an all-volunteer department with 42 members, locted about 25 miles west of Philadelphia. The department celebrated its 50th anniversary last week, just before DiOrio became the first line of duty death in the department's history.