Walter C. Fagan, Jr.
East Greenwich Township Fire/Rescue
Date of Death: December 29, 2007
Walt was born and raised in New Jersey. As a teenager, while living in Forked River, he began his service to the community by joining the Lacey Township Ambulance Squad. His family later moved to Mt. Royal, where he joined the East Greenwich Ambulance Squad.
In 2000, he joined the Mt. Royal Volunteer Fire Company. He took part in as many aspects of firehouse business and answered every call that he possibly could. Being a firefighter was becoming a passion. Walt was elected as a trustee and also the chief engineer, jobs he took very seriously.
As the chief engineer, he had the task of overseeing the maintenance of the trucks. He kept the equipment in good working order. Walt knew how important it was to have everything ready to go when the pager went off. He couldn’t get out of the house fast enough to get to the station. He was usually the one driving to the scene, and he stayed with the engine, checking the gauges and dials to be sure that all ran smoothly. His brothers could count on him to do his job.
Along with his responsibilities as chief engineer, Walt became the station’s ‘go to’ guy. Any time, night or day, you could call him, and he would be at the firehouse, taking care of business. He would drop whatever he was doing to lend a hand. Walt loved being a firefighter.
Walt’s first love was family. He enjoyed outings and get-togethers with all of us, spending as much time as possible with those he cared for most. He also had a lot of friends, folks who liked and respected him and whom he felt the same about. His second love was riding his motorcycle. Whenever the weather was favorable, he would be out on the road. He belonged to a local chapter of the Red Knights Motorcycle Club, and he rode in some charitable events.
Walt was always doing something for someone else. In the winter, he would be out in the snow, plowing people’s driveways or parking lots, day or night. He made repairs to people’s cars and houses, or did just about anything to help someone in need. Usually he asked for nothing in return.
In December 2007, Walt suffered a fatal heart attack while en route to a call. His brothers did what they could to help him until he was taken to the hospital by EMS. He passed away in the emergency room surrounded by family and friends. His absence is deeply felt by all, and his shoes will be difficult to fill.
James T. Heenan
Verga Fire Company
March 25, 2001
Jimmy Heenan was born in Philadelphia and moved with his family to Verga when he was about 8 years old. He went through the West Deptford school system, graduating from West Deptford High School in 1981.
He completed training at Gloucester County Vocational School in Diesel and Auto Mechanical Studies. He worked as a dredge operator for 'Weeks Dredging.' Jim also attended Camden County College, taking many courses relating to firefighting.
Jim became involved in his teen years as a Junior Firefighter with the Verga Fire Company. He served in various offices in the company: Lieutenant, Captain, and Assistant Chief. He also helped with the Ambulance Squad at Verga. He was recognized in 1983 by the VFW for working with the Ambulance Squad.
Jim met his Patty at the fire hall. They were married in 1984.
They had two sons, Jimmy and Mike.
Sadly, on March 25, 2001 Firefighter James T. Heenan died from injuries sustained in the line of duty while fighting a house fire on January 1st 2001. Dispatched information originally stated there were people trapped inside the West Deptford residence, however it was later discovered that the two-story structure was empty. While searching for the victims inside the house the floor collapsed beneath Jim and trapped him in the basement under burning debris for approximately twenty minutes. He was rescued by fellow firefighters but not before sustained third- degree burns to 75% of his body. Jimmy remained in the Chester-Crozer Burn Center for eighty four days and underwent several surgeries before he past away. Jim, an eighteen year veteran firefighter of the Verga Fire Company # 1, was 37 years old and survived by his wife, Patti and two teenage sons, Jimmy and Michael. His Heroism and sacrifice will never be forgotten. He will be greatly missed and his memory will live forever in our hearts.
Ralph H. Jones II
Deptford Fire Department
June 23, 2000
Ralph H. Jones II, 37, a 14-year career member of the Deptford Fire Department, died on June 23, 2000, of a heart attack after returning from an EMS call. He was President of the IAFF Local 3592 and a coach for the Woodbury Little League Association.
Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department
February 16, 1999
Robert C. Stanmire, Sr., 52, a volunteer firefighter with the Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department in Vineland, died on February 16, 1999, of a heart attack while preparing to respond to a brush fire. A corrections officer at Bayside State Prison, Stanmire had served as a volunteer firefighter for 20 years. An Army veteran who served in Vietnam, Stanmire was very involved with POW/MIA and veterans support issues.
Deptford Fire Department
September 21, 1986
Al Fischer was a long-time member of Blackwood Terrace (Union) Vol. Fire Company in Deptford, New Jersey. Al was responding to a call on foot, as he lived less than a block away from the station and was struck by a vehicle, sustaining mortal injuries.