Two Smith County Firefighters Killed, Two Others Injured - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/3/07-Smith County

Two Smith County Firefighters Killed, Two Others Injured

Kevin Williams Kevin Williams
Austin Cheek Austin Cheek

WHAT HAPPENED

A house fire in Flint has killed two Noonday Volunteer Firefighters, Kevin Williams and Austin Cheek.  The fire started just before 2:00 a.m. Friday morning at a home on Old Jacksonville Highway in Flint.  KLTV 7 has learned the two volunteer firefighters were killed.  Two other firefighters were transported to East Texas Medical Center in Tyler, where they were treated and released. All four of these firefighters were from the Noonday Volunteer Fire Department.

The Flint-Gresham Volunteer Fire Department was the first to respond to the blaze, but because of the fire's magnitude Noonday also responded.  Smith County Fire Marshal Jim Seaton told KLTV the two Noonday Firefighters went inside the home to look for other two Noonday Firefighters they had lost contact with.  It's unknown at this time if the two firefighters were the ones taken to the hospital.  Several other fire departments were also called out to the scene to help fight the blaze.  At this time, the fire has been extinguished.  Authorities say the family of the home were able to make it out safely.  They also say ammunition was inside the home, which made the fire difficult to fight. 

A TRAGIC FIRST IN COUNTY HISTORY

Seaton also told KLTV 7 this is the first time in the county's history a volunteer firefighter has been killed in the line of duty, which has made the morning extra difficult for the volunteer firefighter community. 

NEIGHBOR REACTS TO FIRE

"The flames were shooting above treetops. My granddaughters were afraid our house would catch on fire. I assured her the firemen were there to make sure that did not happen." said neighbor Sue Spasic.

SMITH COUNTY FIREFIGHTERS REACT

"I don't understand how they don't come back. I bet it would be hard to go up in the heart of the fire and the guy up beside you is not there anymore." said Clay Williamson, of the Lindale Fire Department.

"Our prayers are with them."  Williamson says.

You can send condolences to firefighters@kltv.com.

Viewer Comments:

To the familys of the two fire fighters from Noonday . I wish there were words to say that could make this tragic day a better one for you . I have been a volentier fire fighter sence 1982 I want you to know i have 7 children and two of my own kids 17 and 14 have followed in my steps doing this as well . I do it because i enjoy the satifsaction I get from what the out come is in most cases where someone is helped . Never have i had to go threw an ordeal like you are today where a family member or fellow firefighter has been killed doing what he enjoys . I have been injured and had those with me injured as well althought I understand it is not the same . Be asured that your loved one died doing what he enjoyed doing . As you know we don't get paid we do this because it is in our hearts . No one thinks that when we run on a call that it will be our last one but as for me personally if this happened to me I would want my family to know that what i was doing was my choice and it was what i wanted to be doing . I wish you the best of luck in the future and my prayers are with you . May God bless you and keep you in his arms in your time of need and sorrow.

~Mike Berry

I am so very sad to hear this news. I live in Woden , Tx, and my parents were a very significant part of our Volunteer Fire Department's opening many years ago. My father was chief for many years. This truly saddens me. I am so very sorry and can only offer my prayers to each and every one of you. May Gos Bless You. 
 
~BJ Langston

Me and Austin Cheek met at the hurricane Katrina deal at TJC he was one of the helpers along with me..he was a great kid i will miss him dearly my prayers are with the family of him and the other brave man...yall are missed dearly thanks for everything yall do

~with love
Ellin Kemppainen
Quitman TX

Being the grandaughter of a 35 yr veteran for tyler fire department, i hold a special place in my heart for all firefighters.   My heart goes out to the family of these two noonday volunteer firefighters. These guys and gals do this because they want to...not for the money, but for the glory of it all.   They are volunteers!  they love it!  they live for that pager to go off in the middle of the night because they know they are about to save a life or someone's personal property from being destroyed by fire.

~Cindy Owens

My prayers are with the families of the two firefighters, this is especially hard for me since Kevin Williams, leaves directly across the street from me.  I will be praying for the two injured and their families.

~Stephanie Ray

All of the members with Winona Volunteer Fire Department would like to extend our deepest sympathies. Our hearts go out to you at this time and in the days ahead. We will keep all of you in our prayers.

~Nelson Brumley
Winona Fire Chief

My prayers are with the families of the firefighters that lost their lives this morning and also with their department.  My husband is a volunteer firefighter and what happened this morning is the greatest fear of any member of a firefighters family and community.  I believe that these men and women are great heroes in choosing to volunteer their time to do what they all love. 

God Bless, and our prayers are with you.
Melissa Bowling, RN
Wife of a Chapel Hill firefighter

My heart and prayers are with all the firefighter in our community and their families.  I know how important Volunteer Firefighters can be.  My Son is a volunteer in Chapelhill and the experience has changed his life in such a positive way. 

May God be with you all!

Vicki L Stowe
District Clerk


To the families and the community of Noonday. My prayers and thoughts are with you in this time of loss. My deepest appreciation goes out to not only those who lost their life but to all the volunteers across this great nation who answer the call to help their fellow man.

Cary Nix

 

As the mother of a HLR Volunteer Fireman I send my prayers to the families of the Firemen killed in the Noonday tragedy. These wonderful men risk their lives day by day so that we may be safe.

We can sleep at night knowing they are there for us. May God Bless Them All.

Charline Kendrick
Holly Lake Ranch

I cried this morning as I heard the news of the two firefighters that were killed.  My son, who is a Noonday volunteer was at work at the time and could not respond.  This is a parent and spouses worst night mare but I know that just like my son, these men would do nothing different.  My heart goes out to these families and my prayers will be with you and the men left behind.  What a sad day.

Dee Ann Shelton

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