Matthew LeTourneau, Captain

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Lieutenant LeTourneau and the members of his engine company responded to a residential structure fire with reports of people trapped inside.  After finding a deceased occupant at the entrance to the dwelling, Lieutenant LeTourneau and other firefighters made an interior coordinated fire attack. 

Due to freezing temperatures and water supply issues, the incident commander on-scene ordered all companies to evacuate the building.  Due to continued reports of trapped persons, the incident commander ordered firefighters to resume the interior attack.  Shortly thereafter, a “May Day” was broadcast.  A structural collapse had occurred inside the house. 

An emergency evacuation was called, and the incident commander ordered a Personnel Accountability Report (PAR).  Lieutenant LeTourneau did not respond to the PAR.  Fire companies entered the building as a Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) and found Lieutenant LeTourneau trapped under debris.  After the RIT extricated Lieutenant LeTourneau, he was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.  The cause of death was positional asphyxia with superheated gas and smoke inhalation.

Lieutenant LeTourneau was posthumously promoted to Captain.


Incident Location: 2240 N Colorado St, Philadelphia, PA 19132 (U.S. National Grid: U.S. National Grid: 18S VK 86216 26420)

Department information

Philadelphia Fire Department
240 Spring Garden ST
U.S. National Grid: 18S VK 8778 2339
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19123-2991

Chief: Fire Commissioner Adam K. Thiel

Matthew LeTourneau was honored on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland and was included in the USFA’s annual report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States.
Age: 42
Rank: Captain
Classification: Career
Incident date: January 6, 2018 08:51
Date of death: January 6, 2018
Cause of death: Collapse
Nature of death: Asphyxiation
Activity type: Advance Hose Lines/Fire Attack (includes Wildland)
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed property use: Residential