Arlington, VA. (ABC7) — The son of a Washington, D.C. fallen firefighter is following in his dad's footsteps.
When Anthony Phillips Jr.'s father died in the line of duty on May 30, 1999, he never thought he would do that work that took the life of his father 21 years ago.
But, never say never.
Phillips can still vividly remember the tragic day. “Those memories are just linked to that tragic day," Phillips said. "I can just remember something was off and a lot of people were in my home."
His father, DC Firefighter Anthony “Sauce” Phillips, Sr., died in the line of duty during a fire at 3146 Cherry Road NE.
“Since he passed, I was against it and never really wanted to do it because of that,” said Phillips.
Phillips says D.C. firefighters remained close to his family and at times tried to convince him to join the team one day.
“It’s all come full circle, they have always been in my life and have always tried to recruit me and I would say no I don’t want do it,” Phillips laughed.
Yet here he is. Like father, like son.
“Oh man," he laughed. "My mom tells me I am just like him not only in looks but personality."
It has all led to this moment. Phillips just graduated from the Arlington Fire Academy Recruit Class 78.
He explained how, despite reservations, his family is proud. "I finally went through it. They see where I am at now compared to where I started, they are very proud.”
The Arlington Fire Department said, "We’re proud to have Probationary Firefighter Phillips with us and are honored to be a part of his family’s legacy of serving others."