On Thursday, July 29, 1999, Engine 28 was dispatched first-in on Tactical Box 838, Amber Street and Westmoreland Street, with Engine 7, Ladder 10, Ladder 16, and Battalion 10.
At 2040, when Engine 28 arrived on location, they had a 2-story brick dwelling measuring 15 x 35, with fire showing from the 2nd floor front and the Captain placed 1 & 1 in service. The Captain, wearing full bunker gear and SCBA, went into the dwelling to check for occupancy, while FF Devine and another member of Engine 28, stretched 1-3/4 hoseline up to the 2nd floor. Both firefighters were also wearing full bunker gear and SCBA. They located the fire which was in the 2nd floor front bedroom.
While they were searching for the fire, Ladder 10 arrived on location and went into service. Engine 7 got on location and was placed on standby, Battalion 10 arrived at 2041, and Ladder 16 arrived a few minutes later. While FF Devine and the other member of Engine 28 were extinguishing the fire, members of Ladder 10 and Ladder 16 performed ventilation and continued the search for occupancy. The occupancy search came up negative.
At 2046, Battalion 10 reported that the bulk of the fire had been knocked down and he had 1 & 2 in service at that time. At 2047, Battalion 10 then placed the fire under control and recalled Engine 7.
Once it was under control, Firefighter Devine left the dwelling to take a break. He went outside and sat on the rear bumper of Engine 28 and removed his SCBA. He was offered a drink of water by the driver/pump operator of Engine 28, but he refused. FF Devine then returned to the dwelling to help with the overhaul operations. When he went in, he was asked how he was and he said that he was okay.
At 2058, Ladder 16 made themselves available and returned to their station. The Captain of Engine 28 ordered a wet-down of the entire room and while that was going on, FF Devine collapsed on the bed. Members of Engine 28 and Ladder 10 tried to revive Devine, but were unsuccessful. Devine was unresponsive, not breathing, and didn't have a pulse. The Captain requested a medic unit be dispatched.
At 2104, Medic 8 was dispatched to the scene. They arrived on location 2108. Once Medic 8 got on scene, they attached a heart monitor to Devine, but did not try to defibrillate him due to the wet conditions. The paramedics intubated him, put him on a stretcher, and placed him in the back of the medic unit. They went en route to Northeastern Hospital at 2120. One firefighter from Ladder 10 drove the medic unit to the hospital, while the two paramedics initiated ALS and two other firefighters from Ladder 10 continued CPR while en route to the hospital.
Medic 8 arrived at Northeastern Hospital at 2122 and was taken into the ER. CPR and ALS procedures were performed for 17 minutes while still on scene at the firegrounds and two minutes while en route to the hospital. While in the ER, full ALS protocols were followed.
At 2142, the victim, Firefighter Richard Devine, was pronounced dead of a heart attack and heat stress.
Firefighter Devine's death was the second Line-of-Duty-Death (LODD) in less than three months. The other fallen firefighter was Firefighter Eric Casiano of Engine 2 / Ladder 3, B Platoon.
Firefighter Devine was an 11-year veteran of the Philadelphia Fire Department and at the time of his death was a member of Engine 28 "B" Platoon. During those 11 years, Devine was with Engine 60, Engine 7, Engine 24, Engine 53, and Engine 28. Devine left behind a wife, a daughter, and a brother, who is a lieutenant in the Philadelphia Fire Department with Ladder 20. While working at Engine 53, Devine received a Unit Citation for his rescue of four trapped occupants in their burning three story dwelling in South Philadelphia.