Community remembers fallen fire chief - WSMV News 4

Community remembers fallen fire chief

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What started as a memorable Christmas morning ended with a community remembering the life of a local fire chief.

Estill Springs Fire Chief Anthony Lowhorn died Christmas Day following a freak accident at his son's house.

Even when he was at home, it was evident that Lowhorn was still at work, his Jeep parked in the family driveway. He missed many birthdays, holidays, even Christmas, when the alarm went off to help someone.

The sound of a beeper paging firefighters was a familiar sound to his wife, Ivy Lowhorn.

For 32 years Anthony Lowhorn was a volunteer firefighter for Estill Springs.

Christmas morning the family had opened presents and Anthony Lowhorn left the house to install a floodlight at their son's place.

When she later heard sirens, her first thought was that another Christmas would be spent with her husband dutifully helping others.

"I saw the ambulance go by. I looked out the window and said OK, he's going after the ambulance as a first responder," said Ivy Lowhorn. "Then I thought no, his fire car is here. He's at Aaron's. Little did I know the ambulance was going to my son's home for him."

Somehow the chief had fallen off the roof and died.

Today friends and family members gathered to remember a man whose love extended beyond the four walls of his home.

"The community felt safe knowing he was here," said Suzy Rambo, his niece. "They'd call him day or night and he would come."

As long ago as first grade, Anthony Lowhorn knew he wanted to be a firefighter. He is pictured in a class photo with classmates during an outing at a Tullahoma fire station.

The young boy grew into a man who would raise two sons, Ryan and Aaron, who would share his passion for helping others.

Assistant Fire Chief David Pendergraff choked back tears while remembering his best friend.

"Twenty-nine years, a leader. One of the best. Someone to turn to anytime, no matter what," Pendergraff said.

Ivy Lowhorn never imagined she'd be burying her husband of more than 30 years, at the young age of 57. Everyone thought he had so much more living to do.

"It just doesn't seem real," said Ivy Lowhorn.

A crisis team will be visiting soon to talk to the firefighters about the sudden death of Anthony Lowhorn. The firefighters Channel 4 News spoke with said it's simply going to take time to recover.

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