Carmen Iannelli, a second-generation Camden firefighter, tragically lost his life in the line of duty following a fire in the 1300 block of Pine Street. Both his father, Frank Iannelli, and his older brother, Captain Leonard Iannelli, also perished while serving as active-duty firefighters.
Carmen Iannelli was born on November 7, 1924, in Camden, to Frank Iannelli and Rose Iannelli (née unknown), both of Italian descent. In 1924, the family resided at 310 Berkley Street in South Camden, where his father worked as a laborer. However, by April 1930, Frank Iannelli had joined the Camden Fire Department. Tragically, Frank Iannelli died while on active duty as a member of Engine Company 9 on April 5, 1942.
During World War II, Carmen Iannelli served in the United States Army. He later joined the Camden Fire Department around 1953. As of October 1959, Carmen Iannelli still lived at 310 Berkley Street, while his brother Leonard had moved to 3055 Stevens Street in East Camden.
Carmen Iannelli served at Engine Company 9 in East Camden. By the mid-1960s, he resided with his wife Jean and their son Carmen Jr. at 3061 Stevens Street, close to Woodrow Wilson High School.
Following in the footsteps of his father and brother, Carmen Iannelli made the ultimate sacrifice as a Camden firefighter. On January 5, 1975, during the aftermath of a third alarm fire, Engine Company 9 was engaged in cleaning hoses and restoring equipment at their quarters in East Camden, located at Federal and North 27th Street. Tragically, while stretching a line at the rear of the apparatus, Fire Fighter Iannelli suffered a massive heart attack, resulting in his untimely death. Carmen Iannelli became the twenty-third member of the Camden Fire Department to make the supreme sacrifice while valiantly protecting the City of Camden.
Carmen Iannelli was a proud member of Local 788, International Association of Fire Fighters, and was affiliated with St. Joseph’s Pro-Cathedral located at Federal Street and 29th Street in East Camden. He was survived by his mother, wife Jean, son Carmen Jr., and his brother Frank L. Iannelli.
Leonard Iannelli, born into a family of dedicated firefighters, followed his father, Frank Iannelli, who had lost his life as a member of Engine Company 9.
The legacy of firefighting courage and sacrifice continued as Frank Iannelli’s two sons, Leonard and Carmen, also followed their father’s footsteps. Tragically, both would also make the supreme sacrifice.
Carmen Iannelli was a Camden firefighter who, along with his father and brother, lost his life while on active duty.
It was not until a bitterly cold night in January 1964, a night where the temperature dropped to 1 degree above 0, that the Iannelli family began to think that fate had singled them out.
A Camden fireman collapsed and died of an apparent heart attack early today after returning from the scene of a two-alarm fire that severely damaged a city warehouse.