MACON COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) – A North Carolina fire department is mourning the sudden passing of one of their own.
According to Clarks Chapel Fire-Rescue, 25-year-old Joseph Orr, died on Saturday in a “tragic accident while enjoying the great outdoors.”
According to Chief Trae Perry, Orr was new to the department, yet still had a tremendous impact.
“Joseph was one of those guys who never turned down a challenge, or even gave it a second thought. Joseph was strong as an Ox and equally as determined. He was passionate about service to his fellow man, and community,” said Chief Perry. “He quickly went from our ‘new guy’ to an honored and treasured member of our department family.”
“Joseph never missed an opportunity to help out, train, or respond to calls, and was eager to help in any way that he could. Joseph lived life to the fullest and never missed an opportunity,” Perry said.
Orr’s official cause of death is unclear at this time. However, Chief Perry said the tragic accident happened at a popular Macon County hiking and swimming area. He said bystanders called for help.
“Some more amazing, hard working, and dedicated rescue personnel dropped what they were doing to come to his aid, but unfortunately he did pass as a result of the accident,” said Perry. “I believe the incident is still under investigation.”
Clarks Chapel Fire-Rescue released the following statement after Orr’s sudden passing, which read in-part:
“It is with great sadness that we report the passing of one of our members. Firefighter Joseph Orr lost his life in a tragic accident yesterday while enjoying the great outdoors that he loved… Joseph was a good friend and brother to all of us.”
On Sunday, Chief Perry spoke with 7NEWS, sharing memories of his time spent with Orr.
“I am extremely thankful that I had the opportunity to get to know Joseph, and grow close enough to him to call him family,” said Chief Perry.
He told 7NEWS that he and the community plan to uplift the Orr family and carry on his legacy.
“I’m overwhelmed by the support that the community has shown during this time. I plan to stand strong for his family, and perform at our very best in Joseph’s honor,” said Perry.
“I ask that you keep Joseph’s family in their thoughts and prayers during this unimaginable time. He was our family, and so is his family, so I will ensure that they are well cared for during this,” said Perry. “Our team is larger than Clarks Chapel, or even Macon county, many departments from all over WNC have reached out about how they can help, which is what we in public service do. We will carry on, and continue to do what we do, in Joseph’s honor.”