|Birth: ||Jan. 21, 1940|
|Death: ||Aug. 24, 1975|
The Evening Bulletin (Philadelphia); Monday, August 25, 1975, Page 1:
"7th Man Dies From Gulf Fire
By Thomas J. Gibbons, Jr. and Steve Stecklow
Of The Bulletin Staff
Philadelphia Fire Marshal Lt. James J. Pouliot, one of four firemen badly burned in the fire that devastated the Gulf Oil Co. refinery in South Philadelphia Aug. 17 died last night at St. Agnes Hospital. Pouliot was the seventh firefighter to lose his life as a result of the blaze. He was 35 and lived at 4721 Tampa st. in the Feltonville section. Six other men died when they were engulfed by flames while they were working 200 feet from one of the four storage tanks damaged in the $11-million fire. A mixture of oil and water, cover by foam, caught fire and trapped the men.
Tells of Rescue Attempt
Pouliot, in an interview last week with a reporter at the hospital's Burn Center, said he was working near the six men and tried to save one of them. He suffered second-and-third degree burns over 75 percent of his body and had remained in critical condition since his admission to the hospital eight days ago. He died at 11:50 P.M., a hospital spokesman said. His wife, Florence, who had stayed near his side during his confinement, was detained at the hospital and placed under heavy sedation, the spokesman said.
Doors Draped in Black
The news was greeted with a hushed response at Pouliot's home station, Engine 20, 10th and Cherry sts. in center city. The station's doors were already draped in black in memory of the six firemen buried last Friday. "I thought he was a superior officer, to be perfectly honest with you," said Pouliot's commanding officer, Capt. Philip McLaughlin at Engine 8 headquarters, 4th and Arch sts. "He was a very aggressive officer and very inventive," said McLaughlin. "He was well-liked by his men ... He just did an outstanding job all the way around. I know we're going to miss him." Pending further determinations to be made during an autopsy to be performed by the city's medical examiner, who investigates all violent and unusual deaths, Lt. Pouliot's death was attributed to septicemia, a buildup of bacteria in the blood. Lt. Pouliot, a 12-year veteran of the department, was the father of four girls: Jean, 12; Janet, 11; Jennifer, 8, and Janice Ann, 6.
A group of Pouliot's Tampa st. neighbors gathered outside his house this morning in the late summer heat. Most of them were in tears. They had just heard their neighbor had died. "He was the kind of a guy you could go to for anything," said a young woman who was holding her small child, "and he had a smile no matter how tired he was." None of the little circle would give their names. They said they were "just friends of Jim's." They described Pouliot in glowing terms. "You see that chimney?" a man asked, pointing to his own house, across the street from the Pouliots'. "Jim built that for me, because he knew I couldn't climb," he said. "That's the kind of guy he was." "I registered disbelief when I heard," an older woman said. Her face was streaked with tears. "You never believe it could happen to anyone you know." Fire Commissioner Joseph R. Rizzo had already been to visit the Pouliot children this morning, the neighbors said. Now James Pouliot's four young children were inside their home at 4721 Tampa st. They hadn't been told the news about their father yet. Another fireman, Carroll Brenek, 33, of 649 Morris Park road in the Overbrook section, attached to Engine 57, 55th and Pine sts., remained in critical condition today at St. Agnes Burn Center with second-and-third-degree burns over 72 percent of his body. Two other firemen were reported in serious condition today at Crozier-Chester Medical Center, Upland, Pa., with burns suffered fighting the fire. They are George L. Schrufer, 32, of 4442 Shelmire ave., in the Mayfair section, attached to Engine 49, 13th and Shunk sts., and David Schoolfield, 22, of 5033 N. 8th st., in the Logan section, attached to Engine 57. South Philadelphia residents yesterday complained of foul-smelling oil fumes they believed were coming from the direction of the still-burning Gulf oil refinery. "I thought somebody was having a barbeque, the fumes were so great," said Mrs. Laura Rando of 1626 Jackson st. "To me it was like choking." "To me it smelled like oil," said Mrs. Terry Baumfiester, of 1932 Fitzgerald st., four blocks from Mrs. Rando. William Rhuberg, city air pollution inspector, yesterday reported receiving numerous complaints of the fumes from throughout the city."
The Evening Bulletin (Philadelphia); Tuesday, August 26, 1975, Page 15:
"Mass Set for 7th Fireman Claimed in Blaze
By Bruce Boyle
Of The Bulletin Staff
A Roman Catholic Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday for Fire Lt. James J. Pouliot, 35, who died of complications caused by burns he suffered Aug. 17 while fighting the still-burning fire at the Gulf Oil Refinery in South Philadelphia. Pouliot, of 4721 Tampa st., in the Feltonville section, became the seventh fireman to die because of the blaze when he succumbed late Sunday night at the St. Agnes Hospital burn center. He was admitted there with second-and-three degree burns over 75 percent of his body after he tried to rescue a fellow fireman from the inferno that flared up hours after it was declared under control. His wife, Florence, was released from the hospital yesterday after she was detained under heavy sedation when Pouliot died. She had been at his bedside since Pouliot was admitted to the hospital. City officials yesterday announced the funeral arrangements as firemen continued to pour water on the blaze. About a dozen firemen manned three pieces of equipment into this morning. A viewing for Pouliot will be held from 7 to P.M. Thursday at St. Ambrose Roman Catholic Church, C. st. and Roosevelt blvd. The Mass will be at the church at 10 the following morning. Fire Department officials said Pouliot will be buried following the Mass with full department honors at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Cheltenham ave. and Roumfort road (sic), Cheltenham, Pa. Five of the pallbearers will be firemen. The sixth pallbearer will be Pouliot's brother-in-law, Philadelphia Patrolman Thomas Duffy, of the 19th district, 61st and Thompson sts., officials said. Pouliot, the father of four daughters, Jean, 12, Janet 11, Jennifer, 8, and Janice Ann, 6, joined the Fire Department on July 22, 1963. He was promoted to lieutenant in February 1974. He was assigned to Engine 10, 10th and Cherry sts., center city. He was a native of Loretto, Minn. He was educated in elementary and high schools there and served in the Navy from 1959-61. Meanwhile, Fireman Carroll Brenek, 33, of 649 Morris Park road, in the Overbrook section, remained in critical condition at St. Agnes burn center was second-and-three degree burns over 72 percent of his body. Brenek is attached to Engine 57, 55th and Pine sts. Two other firemen were reported in serious condition at Crozier-Chester Medical Center, Upland, Pa., with burns they suffered fighting the fire. They are George L. Schrufer, 32, of 4442 Shelmire st., in the Mayfair section, attached to Engine 49, 13th and Shunk sts., and David Schoolfield, 22, of 5033 N. 8th st., in the Logan section, attached to Engine 57."
Florence H. Duffy Pouliot (1941 - 2011)*
Holy Sepulchre Cemetery
Created by: Donna Di Giacomo
Record added: Jun 27, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 92700778
The Fisher family will never fotget.|
Added: Dec. 21, 2012
Added: Nov. 9, 2012