Philadelphia, December 9, 2014– Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Fire Department Commissioner Derrick J. V. Sawyer honored Firefighter Joyce Craig-Lewis, 36, who lost her life in a dwelling fire early this morning in the West Oak Lane section of the city. Craig Lewis was a decorated 11-year veteran of the Philadelphia Fire Department, one of 150 women who serve as firefighters, paramedics and EMTs in the City of Philadelphia.
“Joyce Craig-Lewis was a much-loved mother, daughter and sister,” said Mayor Nutter. “She loved her family and she loved her job. She was a highly-trained firefighter who served in some of the busiest stations in the city because she wanted to perfect her craft. I offered my condolences to her family – a very large family of loyal Philadelphians – and many of her friends when I visited them at Albert Einstein Medical Center this morning. She will be deeply missed by her two young children, her Fire Department family and our entire city.”
Craig-Lewis is survived by her son, Mehki Donte Green, 16, her daughter, Laylani Lewis, 16 mos., her parents, James and Carol Craig, her brothers, Kareem Meads and Michael Craig, and sisters, Uris Payton and Lafarist Makasi. Craig-Lewis graduated from Dobbins High School and earned her certification as an EMT before joining the Department.
“She was a firefighter’s firefighter,” said Commissioner Sawyer. “This brave firefighter gave her life attempting to save the life of an elderly woman. Joyce had a strong work ethic and she prided herself on working at busy fire companies.”
Craig-Lewis is the first female firefighter to die in the line-of-duty in the history of the Philadelphia Fire Department. During her career she served at Engine 9 and Ladder 21 in the Germantown section, Engine 45 at 26th and York Streets in North Philadelphia, and Engine 64 on Rising Sun Avenue in the Rhawnhurst section.
The cause of the fire is currently under the investigation of the Fire Marshall’s Office.