Fallen East Texas firefighter remembered - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Fallen East Texas firefighter remembered

Zane Simons (Source: Facebook) Zane Simons (Source: Facebook)
Zane Simons (Source: Facebook) Zane Simons (Source: Facebook)
Gary Cannon (Source: KLTV) Gary Cannon (Source: KLTV)
CHEROKEE COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

Visitation is underway for a fallen East Texas Firefighter.

The Lake Palestine East Volunteer Fire Department says 19-year-old Zane Simons was swimming with friends on Friday, when he had a seizure and drowned.

Related: Community mourns East Texas firefighter who drowned

Simons' fire chief spoke with us about the moments he says he'll never forget.

Lake Palestine East Volunteer Fire Chief Gary Cannon has been on a lot of calls, but one will always stand out in his mind.

"It's hard to explain, but you just do your best and say 'I'm going to do the best I can…help my brother,'" says Cannon.

Cannon says Simmons, who has a history of seizures, was swimming at a pool in the Shady Brook subdivision when the tragic moments happened.

"He had a seizure at the time and he went under. His friend Noah pulled him out and another guy pulled him out and his brother actually came and helped him, too. With his brother, grandpa, rest of the firefighters and we tried to do CPR on him," says Cannon.

Cannon says that's when they lost a family member.

"He joined the fire department when he was a little kid. We had a kind of junior program...and it's like one of my own, you know? He was sweet…like they called him a gentle giant," says Cannon.

Now, as Cannon looks at the spot where Simons placed his gear, he has a warning for those who know someone who has seizures.

"When you have family members with seizures, always keep an eye on them," says Cannon.

Cannon wears a mourning band.

"We don't look forward to wearing our class A's and stuff like that and have to put this on, but..."

For them it’s a way to honor him.

"Yes, sir,” says Cannon.

Remember him they will.

“He would say ‘hey. love me, remember me and keep on guys,"’ says Cannon.

Simons' visitation ends at 8 p.m. on Monday at the Boren-Conner Funeral Home in Bullard. His funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at East Lake Baptist Church.

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