MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WAAY) - A call for a house fire turns tragic, after a firefighter dies, trying to save his neighbor's house.
It all started around three o'clock Thursday afternoon.
Volunteer firefighter Jantzen Murrel Frazier lives right next door to a house that caught on fire.
The decorated war veteran drove to the station to get the fire truck. That's when things turn a turn for the worst.
“It is the worst type of situation that can possibly happen,” says Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin.
A volunteer firefighter, trying to help save his neighbor's house. And in less than a mile Jantzen Murrel Frazier ends up losing his life while trying to get back to the fire.
"In these types of situations we rely on volunteers in areas like this to respond to their neighborhood and help their neighbors and that's exactly what he was doing today,” says Sheriff Franklin.
Jantzen saw the blaze in his neighbor’s house and drove to the fire station to get the truck.
"He lives close, he's seen it, he was able to respond to the station, but it so happened that he'd run off the road, rolled the fire truck and lost his life in the process of trying to save somebody else's property," says Chris Free, the President of the Morgan County Fire Association.
But even as crews responded to the accident, more firefighters had to be called in to fight the fire.
"Being a fellow firefighter myself, you know, it's always hard on us that when we lose a fellow firefighter in the line of duty, especially one that's a volunteer who does this for free every day,” says Free.
A representative will be brought in to help the Oden Ridge Fire Department’s 15 volunteer firefighters deal with the loss.
“With their training and experience, they'll do what they need to do but later tonight when it probably starts to sink it is when they'll start having the emotion about it,” says Free.
And the loss will be felt throughout Morgan County.
"Just going out to be able to help his neighborhood and his friends and family, and for him to be able to respond and lose control like that and have an accident, it's just detrimental to the entire county,” Free says.
The Alabama State Patrol is investigating the accident.
The neighbor who lived in the home that caught fire, is devastated about losing Frazier. Vanna Link, her husband and her daughter have lived in the home for a year. She was at work when Frazier's wife called, to tell her, her house was on fire.
“Yeah we lost our home that's all material things. That's not our main concern. Our heart goes out to Leslie Frazier and the Frazier family. We didn't really know him that well but we did know that he's a good guy. He would do anything to help. He went to save our home,” says Vanna Link.
The house is considered a loss. The family does have insurance.
Many are remembering the loss of a man they called a hero. Jantzen Frazier was just 28 years old, but he was a 5 time Purple Heart recipient, serving 2 tours overseas. He was injured several times and took part in the wounded warrior games.
Frazier leaves behind a wife and 4 young children.
Neighbors say he recently moved to the house in Falkville; and became a volunteer with the Oden Ridge Volunteer Fire Department.
Powell Fire and Rescue says they’ll be donating all of the proceeds from their “Nitemare in the Park” Haunted Trail to the family of Jantzen Frazier. The trail is located on Highway 35 between Northeast College and Rainsville.
Admission is $7 per person or $5 per person in groups of 6 or bigger. Gates open at 7:30 p.m.
From Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin:
My heart is broken for the family of Jantzen Frazier and for his Oden Ridge Volunteer Fire Department family. Jantzen dedicated his life to the service of others. First to his country and then to his community Such a tragic loss of a husband, father, and public servant. My thoughts and prayers are with his family as they try to find the strength to endure The Morgan County Sheriffs Posse will be accepting donations for his family during Saturday's event - the day of the cowboy - at the Sheriffs Posse arena.