The U.S. Fire Administration has announced the official on-duty death of Firefighter Richard W. Leonard, 70, of the Perth Amboy Fire Department on July 30, 2017.
Firefighter Richard W. Leonard was operating a pumper at a fire on State Street in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, on April 19, 1993. The fire involved a recycling facility with plastics. Firefighter Leonard did not have breathing air and worked in the highly toxic plastic burning smoke for hours. Leonard never returned to duty and spent the last 24 years under workers’ compensation care for continuous medical conditions caused from inhaling the smoke. Firefighter Leonard died on July 30, 2017 due to the effects of the smoke exposure.
Tribute is being paid Firefighter Leonard at http://apps.usfa.fema.gov/firefighter-fatalities/
To date, 59 firefighter fatalities have been reported to USFA in 2017. Year-to-date and annual USFA firefighter fatality reports are posted online at https://www.usfa.fema.gov/data/statistics/ff_fatality_reports.html
Fatality status is provisional and may change as USFA contacts State Fire Marshals to verify fatality incident information.