LOOK: Fallen Firefighter’s Last Striking Image Emerges

We’ve all heard the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

For this one, some of those words include heroic, courageous, and moving. Photojournalism student Takashi Aoyama was on assignment when he started capturing pictures of a three-alarm fire at a fabric store in South Philadelphia on April 6. One of those was of Philadelphia Fire Department Captain Michael Goodwin entering the burning building.

It would turn out to be the last image taken of the 53-year-old Ladder 27 captain who had served 29 years as a firefighter. He died on duty when the burning three-story building collapsed and crumbled around him.

Aoyama only realized he had captured the moving image when he was later looking through his photos. Philadelphia’s local CBS 3TV aired the photograph when reporting on the hero’s tragic death.