Newark – Many came from far and wide to gathered at the Chase Center on the Riverfront to pay respect to the Hope family, and attend the funeral for Firefighter Ardythe Hope.
Wilmington Senior Firefighter Ardythe Hope a 20 plus year veteran died Dec. 1 from injuries suffered battling a fire on September 24th that was ruled arson. She’d been in the hospital ever since with burns over 70 percent of her body.
Fire Chief Anthony S. Goode announced during services that Ardythe Hope would receive the Medal of Honor and valor. Fire Chief Goode also announced that Hope was being promoted to lieutenant.
Making Ardythe Hope the first female african-american lieutenant associated with the Wilmington Fire Department, The only paid unit in New Castle County.
Several state officials, example. The Honorable Dennis Williams, Governor Jack Markell, US congressman and governor elect John Carney, congressmen Chris Coons and Tom Carper gave remarks including Vice President Joe Biden who couldn’t attend the service like he wanted to, but sent a video recording offering his condolences to the Hope family.
Several members of Hope’s family including brother-in-law Wilmington Police Chief Bobby Cummings told stories about growing up with Ardythe and what she meant to them.
Wilmington Fire Chief Anthony S. Goode said he expects additional murder charges to be filed against the woman accused of starting a deadly row-home fire that led to the death of Senior Firefighter Ardythe Hope – the third firefighter fatality from the Sept. 24 blaze.
Investigators have charged 27-year-old Beatriz Fana-Ruiz with two counts of first-degree murder; one count of first-degree arson; four counts of second-degree assault in the injuries of other firefighters involved; and seven counts of reckless endangerment.
She told investigators she was drunk and on anxiety medication when she became angry early Sept. 24 and set fire to the basement of the row-home.
I offer my sincere condolences to the Hope family.