Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has ordered the commonwealth flag on all commonwealth facilities, public buildings and grounds in Delaware County fly at half-staff to honor a fallen Delco firefighter.

Lt. Capt. Michael Malinowski, of the Morton-Rutledge Volunteer Fire Company, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019.

The commonwealth flag shall be lowered to half-staff until sunset on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, and again on the day of his funeral, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, according to the governor's ruling. The United States flag is to remain at full staff through this tribute.

The governor urged all Pennsylvanians are invited to participate in this tribute.

The veteran firefighter responded to a call Monday, Dec. 2 on a report of trees and wires down just after 8 p.m. in Nether Providence. Following the call, Malinowski reported to officers that he was feeling ill.

“He was running the duty engine Monday night when they came back he let some of the crew know he wasn’t feel well,” said Morton Rutledge Fire Chief Don Holstein. “He went to work the next morning, had tightness in his chest and was taken to the hospital where he died.” He went to work the next day, when he suffered what appears to be a heart attack. He was rushed to the hospital but did not survive.

Malinowski leaves behind a wife, Melissa Anne, and five children, from 3 to 17 years of age.

Malinowski was described by friends and fellow firefighters as being all about helping others.

“You’d walk in and he was the guy who was always there,” Holstein said. “He was all about helping others, either in community or helping friend. If you needed someone one to help you move he was there, an outstanding individual.”

Flags at the sire station have been at half mast since his death and trucks have been covered in black cloth to remember the Captain.

Holstein said Malinowski was involved in numerous aspects of the fire company from being on the board of directors to training, fund raising and running the website. "There wasn’t anything you asked that he wouldn’t get done."

Malinowski had been with the fire company for five years after being a firefighter in Gloucester City, N.J. Holstein said he was promoted to captain in the past two years.

The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 27 and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 654 are collecting toys for the Malinowski children. Gifts can be dropped off at Folcroft police or the IBEW Local Union 654. Business Office -3729 Chichester Ave. Boothwyn, PA 19061.

His funeral service will take place Saturday, Dec. 14. A viewing and service will be held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 2130 Franklin Ave. in Holmes from 9:30 a.m. to noon. A funeral Mass will follow in the church at noon.

Burial will be private.

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