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Fallen firefighter laid to rest

Funeral held for fallen firefighter
Funeral held for fallen firefighter
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 11:42 AM EDT
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UPDATE 5/10/22 @ 5:35 p.m.

GASSAWAY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A volunteer firefighter from the Gassaway Fire Department was laid to rest on Tuesday after he died in the line of duty.

Funeral services began at 11 a.m. at the Gassaway Baptist Church for John Forbush. The 24-year-old died while trying to save a mother and daughter from their car in the Elk River on Sunday, May 1, in what police said was a murder-suicide.

“His last minutes on Earth cost him his life, but it also defined his life,” Pastor Rich Demastus said. He had known Forbush since the firefighter first moved to the area as a child from Ohio, and said Forbush was mature, loving and kind.

“John was very social and vocal,” Demastus continued. “Even as a kid growing up, you could tell he liked to talk. He liked the spotlight. He would drop whatever he was doing to help a friend, family member and obviously a stranger.”

Following the funeral service, more than 100 community members and first responders lined up outside the church to salute Forbush. His casket was brought out draped with an American flag and loaded onto the top of a Gassaway Fire Department truck.

A procession then went through the town of Gassaway followed by Forbush’s friends, family and fellow first responders. The precession stopped outside the Gassaway Fire Department for a complete rotation of callout alarms.

The procession then continued through town to Stumbo Run Road where his burial took place at Frame Stumbo Cemetery.

Forbush had been with the Gassaway Fire Department for four years. Demastus said everyone in the small community knew him.

“We are going to miss him, and I tell you his life is a really good example for all of us,” Demastus said.

For our full coverage:

ORIGINAL STORY

GASSAWAY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A volunteer firefighter from the Gassaway Fire Department is being laid to rest Tuesday.

24-year-old John Forbush died in the line of duty while trying to save a mother and daughter on Sunday, May 1.

Funeral services began at 11 a.m. at the Gassaway Baptist Church.

The procession went through Gassaway to the Gassaway Fire Department for a complete rotation of callout alarms.

The procession then continued through town to Stumbo Run Road.

The burial took place at Frame Stumbo Cemetery.

Forbush had been with the Gassaway Fire Department for four years.

Forbush died trying to save a mother and daughter after a vehicle plunged into the Elk River.

Following the incident, Captain Scarbro with the Braxton County Sheriff confirmed the deaths of Latonya Bell, 42, of Cleveland, Ohio, and her daughter Havana Pipkins, 8 were the result of a murder-suicide.

Forbush died while attempting a rescue operation.

For previous coverage >> > CLICK HERE.

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