Fireman who posed shirtless for charity commits suicide

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 27, 2011 5:48 PM
Fireman who posed shirtless for charity commits suicide

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - A city firefighter who was briefly in the media spotlight when he was reassigned after posing shirtless for a charity calendar has committed suicide, a union official said Monday.

Jack Slivinski Jr., 31, was found dead in his Philadelphia home by his father on Saturday, according to Mike Kane, the chairman of the board of trustees of Firefighters Local 22.

Kane confirmed that Slivinski died "by a self inflicted wound." It was not immediately clear why he killed himself.

"This kid was the best of the best," said Kane, a retired battalion chief in the department. "You could not ask more of any young man ... That's why everybody is so stunned."

Police gave no details on whether Slivinski left signs of why had killed himself.

The fireman gained a measure of notoriety in May when he posed without his shirt in front of a city fountain for a calendar to raise money for a fund for the widows of firefighters.

A member of an elite rescue squad, he was briefly reassigned by Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers to a neighborhood firehouse after news about the photo came out. Ayers later relented.

(Reporting by Dave Warner; Editing by Chris Michaud and Greg McCune)