A firefighter in Decatur County was killed in the line of duty Saturday morning fighting a blaze at a business.
Kenny Fox, a volunteer firefighter and sergeant with the Decatur County Sheriff's Office, became trapped when the roof of the Oak Hill Cafe collapsed during the fire, according to police.
Firefighting is like a brotherhood, and forces from across the country are now on their way to Middle Tennessee to help the small town of Decaturville remember the life of Fox.
Cell phone video from the scene showed the incredible flames that in the end claimed the life of the well-known, and well-loved, fire chief.
"We'll grieve when it's time to grieve, and when it's all over with, they'll recover and go on," said friend and colleague Melvin Brasher.
Two other firefighters that suffered third-degree burns in the blaze are improving. Brothers Randy and Jeremy Inman suffered burns. Both of them are out of the hospital and will attend Fox's funeral.
Reportedly, Fox pushed his colleagues to safety, and seconds later took the brunt of the collapsing roof.
"He never complained about having to go in the middle of the night to a fire, and if there was a fire and he was available, he was on it," Brasher said.
Fox's death is the first for an on-duty firefighter in this town in decades. It doesn't make it any easier, but he died doing what he loved, and that is a little bit of solace for friends and colleagues.
"Kenny just had a way of getting along with anybody, and he just, he could brighten up a room when he walked in. He could liven up any dull classroom. Whatever it was, he added life to it," said Henderson County Sheriff Brian Duke.
"A smile, but when it comes time to be serious, he could get that business done. He worked both sides of the coin real well," Brasher said.
Fox's oldest son was fighting the blaze just before 4:30 a.m. on Saturday. The younger Fox ran inside the burning building to try to save his father, but it was too late.
Investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the fire.
Visitation for Fox will be held Monday at 10 a.m. at the Trinity Assembly of God. His funeral will be held Tuesday afternoon in Decaturville.
He will receive full firefighter honors, including a graveside gun salute. It's a fitting tribute for a chief who set the standard, and sacrificed his life, for those he led.
"He did it well. And he did it all the way up until the end," Duke said.
Fox leaves behind a wife and three sons.
A memorial fund has been set up to help Fox's family. You can donate to the Kenny Fox Memorial Fund at Decatur County Bank, P.O. Box 429, Decaturville, TN, 38329.
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