Corporal Robert Lee Walker

Corporal Robert Lee Walker

Chester City Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Tuesday, May 2, 2017

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Robert Lee Walker

Corporal Robert Walker died as a result of health complications due to his assignment at the Wade Dump Fire.

During the response, Corporal Walker was assigned to the front gate of the property for eight hours and entered a smokey office. He was also assigned to patrol the area. He was diagnosed with aplastic anemia in 1982 and had to retire from the Chester Police Department on medical disability. He died as a result of complications due to his diagnosis on May 2nd, 2017.

Corporal Walker was a U.S Army veteran and had served with the Chester Police Department for 17 years. He is survived by his wife, and two children.

At 3:44 pm, members of the Chester Fire Department responded to 1 Flower Street for a fire at a rubber recycling facility directly below the Commodore Barry Bridge. It was unknown to first responders that more than 3,000,000 gallons of toxic chemical waste were being stored on the site. At least 230 first responders responded to the fire that took firefighters 10 hours to get under control. During the response, firefighters were driven back due to exploding 55-gallon drums. One warehouse was destroyed, and two other warehouses were damaged in the fire.

Investigators discovered more than 18,000 drums of toxic chemicals, tanker trucks leaking chemical waste into the ground, and ditches that had been dug to dump chemicals into the Delaware River.

In August 1980, the owner of the property was convicted of risking a catastrophe, failing to prevent a catastrophe, and for violating the Clean Water Act. He was fined $30,000 and sentenced to one to two years in the county prison.


  • Age 89
  • Tour 17 years
  • Badge 136
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Duty related illness
  • Incident Date Thursday, February 2, 1978
  • Weapon Toxic chemicals
  • Offender Sentenced to 2 years

crowd control, hazmat, fire

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Rest in peace Corporal Walker.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

May 2, 2023

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