FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – The fire department flag that flies above the firefighters’ portion of the Law Enforcement/Firefighters Memorial of Allen County will fly at half staff until Mark Haudenschild II is buried.
Haudenschild II is the 17th Allen County firefighter to lose his life in the line of duty. He died Sunday night after rolling his Washington Township tanker en route to a brush fire in the 4300 block of Butler Road.
Currently, 16 names comprise the firefighters’ portion of the memorial. The last Allen County firefighter to die in the line of duty was Harry Stapleton, Jr., a Wayne Township firefighter who died responding to a fire in 1975. The names on the memorial date back to 1871.
Capt. Denny Giere, treasurer of the memorial and a Fort Wayne firefighter, says he was shocked to learn of Sunday night’s news.
“I know that the years we took building this memorial— I've spent the last six years saying, 'This is it. We're done. We're not adding any more names to it.' And now, a year after it was dedicated, we're probably going to have to add another name to it,” he says.
Giere says firefighters from the Northeast Indiana area and beyond will be in Fort Wayne to pay their respects to Haudenschild II and his family when he is buried.
“It's going to touch every firefighter in this area, just like any other line of duty death even the ones that are far away. A lot of times our department sends a group of guys to these funerals. We just had a group that came back a couple days ago from Chicago for the same thing. So yeah, it will touch every firefighter in this area.”
Giere says Haudenschild II’s death has yet to be discussed with the board because it happened Sunday night, but it is something they will talk about soon.
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