Hundreds of bikers hold vigil for fallen firefighters
KENSINGTON - April 12, 2012 (WPVI) -- More than 300 bikers rode together Thursday night in an emotional tribute to two firefighters who died in a Kensington blaze earlier this week.
Neighbors and the Philadelphia firefighters of Engine 7, Ladder 10 stood and watched bikers roar by to honor fallen Lieutenant Robert Neary and firefighter Daniel Sweeney.
The two were killed in a building collapse near a massive warehouse fire Monday at Jasper and York streets.
"This is an honor. They deserve everything they get, it's an honor," Jubith Irizarry of Kensington said.
As bikers passed through the intersection of Kensington and Castor avenues, Neary and Sweeney's fellow firefighters waved in appreciation.
"The outpouring is unbelievable. It lets us know we're not just a number, we're in their hearts every day, it helps these guys get on the truck and go that extra few steps," Philadelphia Fire Captain Marc Bofinger said.
The bike run traveled to the scene of the tragedy where a handful of balloons were released.
Bikers returned to the firehouse of the fallen heroes around the same time a group of firefighters from Gladwyne and Penn Wynne stopped by to add to a growing memorial.
Biker Mike Bidwell of the Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association also gave a donation on behalf of the Newtown Lodge 427, proving the community is willing to support these firefighters any way possible.
"I'm blessed to be a part of this spiritual thing," biker Mike Bidwell said.
Tomorrow the firefighters will attend viewings for their fallen brothers and with the funerals set for Saturday, they say tonight's bike run was timely to give them the strength they will need as they support the families of the victims.
philadelphia, fire, kensington, local/state, kenneth moton
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