John McNeile died at the age of 50 after being overcome by smoke when he attempted to rescue two boys from a burning building in the Penn Pines housing development. After fighting his way out of the smoke-filled building, he collapsed. The Darby Fire Co. #1 ambulance transported him to Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital, and he was immediately placed in an oxygen tent. Unfortunately, John McNeile died in the hospital that day at 4:16 p.m. He had been employed at Gulf Refining for six years and prior to that Atlantic Refining.
John was also a past Chief of the fire company and former Collingdale Councilman. He was instrumental in the planning and construction of a pumper truck which was used by the fire company for many years. John McNeile was a member of the First Lutheran Church of Collingdale. He was survived by his wife Marie; two daughters, Mrs. Marie Parker and Mrs. Eleanor Laley, a son Charles, four grandchildren, two brothers, and two sisters. The brothers were Frank and William, both of Collingdale, and Mrs. Helen Welsh and Mrs. Edith Brown, both of Philadelphia.