Family Remembers Gilmer Firefighter Killed In Boating Accident - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

06/24/08 - Lake Cherokee

Family Remembers Gilmer Firefighter Killed In Boating Accident

Just two and a half years after his twin brother was killed in a boating accident, an east Texas family has lost another son, in the same manner.

26 year old Chris Carpenter's body was recovered late Monday afternoon on Lake Cherokee near the Gregg-Rusk county line.

Carpenter was killed after two boats collided on the lake.

Today, KLTV 7's Lakecia Shockley spent time with family and friends today who say the young man was taken too early.

For the Carpenter family, the tragic death of Chris Carpenter is unbearable.

"It's tough, we lost his twin brother two and a half years ago in an accident," said his uncle, Larry Allen. "It's really tough for his mother and father, his grandmother, all of us that we lose two of them so close together and so young."

As a teen, Chris's family says he was full of energy, always ready for something exciting with a irreplaceable smile.

"I'm going to miss his smile," said Allen. "He had a good smile, and he's just such a loving young man - him and his brother both."

Chris and his twin brother were both volunteer firefighters.

Gilmer fire Chief Mike Melton says Chris was like his own son.

"The brothers and the sisters of the fire service, we're all close together and when one of us hurts, we all hurt. When we found out about Chris, we started mourning for him."

Now, all that's left of Chris at the fire station is his gear, his #19 fire hat and his unfilled boots.

"Nobody can fill Chris's boots. He's a unique person, he's got a unique personality....he's always there in my heart."

In the heart of his family, friends, and east Texans who will miss the dedicated firefighter.

Carpenter's funeral will be held this Friday at 2:00 pm at the Greggton Methodist Church on Pine Tree Road in Gilmer.

Lakecia Shockley, reporting. lshockley@kltv.com

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