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Mark Horwich: Firefighter’s death leaves hole in community

It is easy for communities to forget, in their day-to-day, how much we owe the men and women who make up our volunteer fire departments. They aren’t members of the larger municipal departments, they don’t have the same resources, and they are not getting paid.

But they run toward danger when the rest of us are running away, anyway. And sometimes that means running through dangerous conditions the rest of us have had the luxury of avoiding.

Over the weekend, in Roane County, one of those volunteers lost his life in the line of duty. Mark Horwich, of the Spencer Roane and Clover Volunteer Fire Departments (yes, he served on two of them), was responding to a fire. Those of you who remember the weather system that pounded the Mid-Ohio Valley Saturday will recall it was a squall during which, if you were driving, you probably wished you were not; and if you were not already driving, you decided to wait a bit.

Horwich’s death is still under investigation, but what is known is that the fire truck he was driving left the roadway near Newton, and now there is a terrible hole in his family — and his community.

We are grateful to him, to his family, and to all those who serve as part of our VFDs.

It is small consolation, but we echo the words of issued from the City of Spencer over the weekend, “You have our hearts.”

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