John (Jack) Slivinski Jr., the Philadelphia firefighter who got in hot water by posing shirtless for a charity calendar, was found dead at his Lawndale home Saturday.

Police and colleagues said the cause was suicide.

Slivinski, 31, a former Marine who followed his father into the department, was praised Sunday as a gutsy firefighter who won a spot on the department's elite rescue unit.

"If you or your family members were in danger, this was the kid you'd want showing up at your house," said Mike Kane, an executive board member at Firefighers Union Local 22.

"He gave you 110 percent, whether he was washing dishes or going down a smoky hallway," Kane said. "When I heard yesterday morning, I had to sit down. It took my legs out."

Slivinski posed shirtless in front of the fountain in Logan Circle for "Nation's Bravest," a charity calendar. He was suspended in April, but was allowed to return to Rescue 1 after a meeting with Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers.

"All of that was over," Ayers said Saturday.

Silvinski had been planning to donate his share to a fund for firefighters' widows.

The calendar is due to come out in August, said Katherine Kostreva, the publisher. She said she would let his family decide whether Slivinski's picture would appear.

Staff writer Joelle Farrell contributed to this report.

Contact staff writer Joseph Tanfani at 215-854-2684 or at