GAFFNEY, S.C. (WSPA)- As we previously reported, the Gaffney Fire Department is now grieving the loss of one of their own, Lieutenant Gary Burris, after a battle with Covid-19.
Burris served Gaffney as a firefighter for almost 19 years. He was described as someone with passion and love for his job. Tuesday the fire department announced on Facebook he lost his life after having the coronavirus.
Fire Chief Jamie Caggiano said he came down with COVID in early August.
“We feel like he contracted Covid August 2 on a response he went on with us. He was in the hospital right around two weeks, spent some time on a ventilator and just could not beat it.”
Caggiano said, “The fire service to Gary was in his heart. It wasn’t just a job to Gary, it was something that he loved. He lived it every day, whether it was here or at home, or if he was teaching.”
Burris leaves behind a wife and an 11-year-old daughter.
“His little girl was a daddy’s girl and we hate it for the little girl we hate it for the wife but we’re doing everything we can to support them,” Caggiano said.
The Gaffney Fire Department has another firefighter in the hospital right now with Covid.
Caggiano said him and Burris were on the same shift.
He said, “His road seems a lot more bright, we think he might get released from the hospital before the end of the week.”
Caggiano says the department is short staffed right now, while other members are in quarantine.
”Guys are working overtime, guys are filling in on extra shifts but the service we’re providing has not changed,” he said.
Funeral arrangements for Burris are still being made but the fire chief says it’s likely to be sometime this weekend.