THOMAS JOSEPH DiBIASO was born in Haddonfield, New Jersey on February 9, 1935 to Pauline and Carmen DiBiaso. 

Thomas DiBiaso enlisted in the United States Air Force in September of 1954. He was honorably discharged in June of 1958, and returned to South Jersey, where he worked at a number of jobs.

Thomas DiBiaso on was appointed to the Camden Fire Department on November 29, 1968. He was then living at 2840 Pierce Avenue in Camden's Cramer Hill neighborhood.

Thomas DiBiaso's career with the Camden Fire Department came to an abrupt end on December 19, 1971, when a fire in the vacant John R. Evans Leather Company building in North Camden at North 2nd and Erie Streets went to a general alarm. Thomas DiBiaso was operating the nozzle of Ladder 3, which was fully extended so water could be put on the burning building, when, suddenly, the ladder sheared of the truck. Thomas DiBiaso fell 30 feet, fracturing his skull, elbow, wrist and pelvis. He retired on full pension as a result of his injuries effective March 1, 1973. 

A resident of for many years of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, his last years were spent at Cape May Court House. On June 8, 2014 he lost his long and courageous battle with cancer. He was survived by his wife, the former Madalena Lucero, six children and a host of grandchildren and a great-grandson, as well as his brother, Daniel DiBiaso.

 Camden Courier-Post * December 26, 1968


25 Firemen Finish Training

In a move aimed at staffing the Camden Fire Department for a new 42-hour work week. 25 probationary firemen will be graduated from the city fire academy Monday and 10 fire officers will be given promotions Tuesday. 

Heading the list of fire officer promotions will be the selection of Battalion Chief Anthony C. Saponare, 51, of 117 S. 27th Street, Camden, as deputy fire chief. The new deputy chief is a 26-year veteran on the city fire force.

Two fire captains to be promoted to battalion chief are Matthew J. Davies, Jr., 36, of 2819 Carman Street, Camden, and James H. Stewart, 54, of 317 Garden Avenue, Camden.

Seven firemen to be named captains include William D. Hillman, 29, of 11 Crestfair Apartments, Camden; Joseph H. Arensberg, 32, of 1041 N. 32nd Street, Camden; Robert E. Briggs, 48, of 2861 Congress Road, Camden; and John Brzozowski, 28, 371 N. 34th Street, Camden.

Also to be named captains are Edmund F. Gorczynski, 36, of 272 N. 33rd Street, Camden; Anthony T. Orme, 44, 3317 River Road, Camden; and William B. Young, 29, of 1126 N. 33rd Street, Camden.

The new firemen include Richard E. Johnson, Thomas H. Eckel, Ronald C. Crowder, John A. DeLuca, Peter P. Carbone, Robert P. Hand, Robert M. Lapp, Jerome A. Kee, Thomas V. Kane, Charles E. Mayo, James C. Peterson and George S. Szychulski, all of Camden.

Other slated fire school graduates are Ronald Angemi, Robert C. Welch, Robert G. Boyle, Glenn H. Moore, Marvin W. Bendy, Thomas J. DiBiaso, Arthur J. Gibson, Daniel J. Galasso, Samuel Battle Jr., Ronald J. Boyle, Jerome J. Watson, George R. Abbey, 3rd., and William H. Huelas, all of Camden.

The appointments of all 35 men become effective Jan. 1, 1969.

Camden Courier-Post - December 20, 1971
Thomas DiBiaso
David Sanders
John R. Evans Leather Company
Pierce Avenue
Berkley Street
North 2nd Street
Erie Street


Dense smoke billows from former John R. Evans Company leather tanning plant in North Camden
Photo by Robert Cave

Jack Plaskett - Joseph M. Nardi - James Bienkowski

Ladder Company 3 (second alarm Truck) gets water on fire at the former John R. Evans Leather Company leather tanning plant in North Camden on December 19, 1971. Firefighter Thomas J. DiBiaso operating the ladder nozzle. This incident went to a Fourth Alarm. Photo by Bob Bartosz

Photo taken moments after Ladder Company 3's aerial fell, severely injuring  Firefighter Thomas J. DiBiaso. Photo by Bob Bartosz

Photo by Bob Bartosz

Photo by Bob Bartosz

It took 3-1/2 hours to bring the blaze under control. This phot and the one below were taken shortly before the wall collapsed, as also depicted below and on the cover of FIRE ENGINEERING magazine's March 1972 edition. Photo by Bob Bartosz

Photo by Bob Bartosz

Photo by Bob Bartosz

John R. Evans & Company
 factory wall collapsing

March 1972 Edition

The Fire
December 19, 1971
John R. Evans
Company Plant

Photo by Bob Bartosz

Camden Courier-Post - December 22, 1971
Angelo D. Malandra - John Giletto - Harold Pike
Thomas DiBiaso
- Thomas Grieff
John R. Evans Leather Company
Cooper Hospital
North 2nd Street - Erie Street


Camden Courier-Post * June 10, 2014

Thomas J. DiBiaso
AGE: 79 Formerly of Cherry Hill

Thomas J. DiBiaso of Cape May Court House, formerly of Cherry Hill, died June 8, 2014. He was 79. Beloved husband of Madalena (nee Lucero). Loving father of Jacqueline DiBiaso of Cape May Court House, NJ; Jeannette Bonitatis (Joe) of Marlton, NJ; Rita Thomas (Jeff) of Harrisburg, PA; Donna DiBiaso of Cape May Court House, NJ; Thomas F. DiBiaso of Mt. Laurel, NJ and Lisa Shannon (Tim) of Cherry Hill, NJ. Devoted grandfather of Dannette and Dustin Bonitatis; Tim and Kelsey Shannon; and Michael and Samantha Thomas. Devoted great grandfather of Xavier Bonitatis. Dear brother of Daniel DiBiaso of Denmark. He was a retired Camden City Fireman. 

Viewing Thursday evening 7 to 9pm and Friday morning 9 to 10am in the Schetter Funeral Home, 304 West Marlton Pike, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002. Mass of Christian Burial Friday 11am in Christ The King RC Church, 200 Windsor Avenue, Haddonfield, NJ 08033. Interment Locustwood Memorial Park, Cherry Hill, NJ. In lieu of flowers contributions in his memory may be made to American Cancer Society American Cancer Society 1851 Old Cuthbert Road, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034. Please visit to share your condolences with the family.