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Mount Ephraim Will Honor Fallen Firefighters who Died 10 Years Ago

By Leigh Anne Hubbs

Gloucester City News


This Fourth of July will be the 10th anniversary of a tragic July Fourth fire that stunned and WTC20firemen saddened the residents of Mount Ephraim and Gloucester City.

On July 4, 2002, a Gloucester City house fire claimed the lives of Mount Ephraim Fire Chief James Sylvester, Deputy Chief/Fire Marshall John West and Firefighter Thomas Stewart of the Gloucester City Fire Department as they tried to rescue the three Slack sisters, how also perished in the fire.

Early that morning flames tore through the residence at 202 N. Broadway and then, horribly, the building collapsed on the firefighters inside as they attempted to find the youngsters.

The three Slack girls that died in the fire were Alexandra, 5, and three-year-old twins Claudia and Colletta.

During this June’s Mount Ephraim Board of Commissioners meeting, Fire Chief Brian Gilmore announced that this year the Gloucester City Fire Department will march with Mount Ephraim’s Fire Department during the Fourth of July Parade, and Mount Ephraim will march in Gloucester City’s July 3rd parade.

Chief Gilmore invited residents to attend the Memorial Service which will take place at approximately 12:30 p.m. on July Fourth at the Sylvester and West Memorial on the corner of West Kings Highway and Station Avenue.

In other news, while on routine Police Officer Douglas Zee observed a suspicious looking male approaching a Domino’s Pizza delivery driver as the driver parked on the side of the building and made his way into the pizza shop on the Black Horse Pike.

The suspect fled after Officer Zee called out to him but was quickly caught – and not only had a questionable past but had a gun in his possession as well.

Commissioner Andrew Gilmore praised Officer Zee’s actions as “good police work.”

Gilmore also reported that for May the Police Department received 434 calls and made 32 arrests.

One was a juvenile arrest for possession of stolen property and the other adult arrests were for various charges such as two for assault, one for burglary and four for DUI.

Also in May, the Public Works Department provided lawn services at the ball fields as well as at abandoned properties throughout the borough, Commissioner Bruce Greenwald said.

Public Works also responded to five sewer calls and reported that recycling was just under 10,000 pounds last month. The more residents recycle the less trash tonnage there is, which saved the borough taxpayers’ money, he said.

  During the Public Forum, a Fourth Avenue resident thanked the Commissioners for looking into an unmaintained vacant property which now looks much better.

  “Crummy property” is how a Davis Avenue resident described her neighbor’s property as she voiced her verbal complaint.

  She said that if the property is not cleared of its multiple sheds and vehicles, as well as animal feces, she will file a formal complaint.

Greenwald said he had visited the property and that the Zoning and Property Maintenance Department has sent a letter to the property owner requesting him to have it cleaned up.

  Mayor Joseph Wolk and Commissioners Gilmore and Greenwald reminded residents to be extra careful now that the children are finished for the school year, and they wished everyone a happy and safe Fourth of July.

  The next meeting will be Thursday, July 5, at 8 p.m. in Borough Hall.


Mother of the Three Slack Girls Who Died in the July 4th Fire Says Thank-You  


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