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Third Wilmington firefighter succumbs

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Arydthe Hope, the Wilmington firefighter who was seriously burned when she entered a burning rowhome to save a colleague from a fire, has died.

Hope and Firefighter Brad Speakman became trapped in a Canby Park home while searching for their colleague, Capt. Christopher Leach, who died in the Septmeber 24 blaze along with Lt. Jerry Fickes.

Speakman was also critically inured, but he was released from Chester Crozer on Nov. 3.

Mayor Dennis Williams issued this statement: “Today our hearts are broken as we mourn the loss of Senior Firefighter Ardythe Hope. There is no greater sacrifice than bravely risking your life to save the life of another. Firefighter Hope did just that on September 24th. On behalf of the City of Wilmington, I offer my deepest condolences to firefighter Hope’s family, children, friends, loved ones, and fellow brothers and sisters of the Wilmington Fire Department. While our hearts are heavy, our resolve to honor firefighter Hope remains strong. On that fateful day, Wilmington lost three firefighters in the line of duty as they courageously faced that tragic fire. May we never forget how they proudly served our city, and may we pay tribute to how they gave the ultimate sacrifice for their fellow man.”


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