Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez

Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez issued the following statement June 19 on the death of Lt. Sean Williamson, 51, a 27-year veteran of the Philadelphia Fire Department who was killed in a building collapse following a fire in North Philadelphia early June 18. Four other firefighters and a city building inspector were injured. Williamson leaves behind his mother and a son.


I was deeply saddened to learn that Lieutenant Sean Williamson of the Philadelphia Fire Department was killed in the line of duty this weekend.

In the name of the people of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, I extend my prayerful condolences to Lieutenant Williamson’s family and friends who mourn this tragic loss. My heartfelt sympathy also goes out to Adam K. Thiel, Commissioner of the Philadelphia Fire Department, and the faithful men and women of the Philadelphia Fire Department as they cope with the death of their beloved brother who faithfully served our city for over 27 years.

In addition, I ask all people of goodwill to join me in fervently praying for the speedy recovery of those who were injured in the fire and building collapse. We owe a debt of gratitude to the first responders who put their lives on the line to protect us each day. May God watch over and protect them.

Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez, D.D.
Archbishop of Philadelphia