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NEW HANOVER — A former assistant fire chief with the Empire Hook and Ladder Company in Pottstown died Sunday after falling from a ladder at his New Hanover home.
Joseph Coccie, 53, died from injuries he suffered in the fall around 7:59 p.m. Sunday at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Salisbury, according to the Lehigh County coroner’s office. The death was ruled accidental.
Coccie was working on a 15-foot-high ladder when he fell head first onto concrete around noon, according to sources.
Pottstown Borough Councilman Mark Gibson, who is also an Empire firefighter, said he and Coccie were “the best of friends.”
Gibson said the two joined the junior fire service together “right after the Bicentennial,” and since then “he was assistant chief on and off for more than 11 years.”
Coccie’s father was an electrician for the borough and Coccie worked at Beacon Container in Birdsboro, also as an electrician, “from the time he got out of high school until now,” Gibson said.
“If he could, Joe would work 24 hours a day,” said Gibson, who added “he was a good, good friend. We spent a lot of days together.”