Volunteer firefighters mourn the loss of one of their own

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Volunteer firefighters in the town of Tonawanda are dealing with the loss of one of their own. 64-year-old Robert House was found dead inside a burning pickup truck Monday night.

It’s a somber sight — from the boots, to the number 89, a small memorial sits at the Brighton Volunteer Fire Company Wednesday.

It’s in honor of fellow member, 64-year-old Robert House.

“Rob had a gigantic heart. He was a good, he was a good man,” said Chief Andrew Hallnan, Brighton Volunteer Fire Company.

House’s body was found in a burning pickup truck on Wynwood Avenue Monday night. It was his fellow volunteer firefighters who responded to the call.

Chief Andrew Hallnan says it’s something no amount of training could prepare them for.

“It was, became a lot more difficult of a response,’ said Hallnan.

As his members are coping with the loss of one of their own…

“Everybody’s speaking about how they’re feeling, make sure that if somebody needs assistance that we identify that and bring in counselors,” said Hallnan.

Hallnan says they’re remembering how selflessly house served the community.

“It’s not often that somebody makes 46 active years, it’s an amazing accomplishment. He at one time was a lieutenant, currently he had been serving with our fire police unit, traffic control,” said Hallnan.

He says house was a first responder, not just on a call or at a scene, but as a friend.

“You needed something, he was first to volunteer and if you needed something, a problem in your life, help around the house, whatever he would, if he heard about it even if you didn’t call him he would call you and offer any help that he could,” said Hallnan.

Hallnan says they’re grateful to fellow fire departments and the community for the support during this difficult time.

Chief Hallnan says he’s grateful to the neighboring fire departments that have offered to help during this time. They have a mutual aid agreement for other departments to take calls.

The details of this case are under investigation, but police say there was no foul play involved.

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