Fire department back up and running after tragic loss - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Fire department back up and running after tragic loss

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On the right is the fire engine on loan from the Elizabethtown Fire Department. (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News) On the right is the fire engine on loan from the Elizabethtown Fire Department. (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News)
Andy Perry (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News) Andy Perry (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News)
Jonathan French (Source: Facebook) Jonathan French (Source: Facebook)
Heather French (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News) Heather French (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News)
Carlus Sallee (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News) Carlus Sallee (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News)

GLENDALE, KY (WAVE) - For the past three weeks life in the town of Glendale has continued as usual, except there remains a feeling of emptiness at the firehouse.

"There's a hole here that will never, ever be filled. No one will ever take Jonathan's place," said Andy Perry, a Glendale firefighter.

But now for the first time since Jonathan French died a familiar sound has returned to the firehouse. A fire engine is on loan from the Elizabethtown Fire Department taking the place of Glendale's own engine that was damaged from the crash.

"What we want to do is just pick our pieces back up, get back on the road and take care of the people that have supported us over the last three weeks," Perry said.

Tuesday evening, firefighters got a refresher course on the new truck. The firefighters are anxious for that first call.

"It'll get easier with time," said Heather French, Jonathan's sister.

For her, the return is bittersweet.

"It's kind of a comfort knowing that he's there without physically being there," she said.

The firefighters have now gained an extended family. Other nearby departments will still help out on calls and cheer the Glendale firefighters on.

"I hope they get back stronger and better than ever to be honest," said Central Hardin Fire Chief Carlus Sallee.

"It has been a long rocky rough road, but we are going to do it," Chief Richard Peters said in a Facebook Post.

Peters is the uncle of Jonathan French, the 25 year old firefighter who died Aug. 6 when he was hit by a semi while putting out a van fire on southbound I-65. French's mother, Lisa, also a firefighter, was injured. Lisa French had volunteered with the fire department for seven years.

“Thanks to everyone that has stood behind us and covered our area for us. We could not have done it without you,” Peters wrote.

After receiving training on the engine, Glendale firefighters resumed answering calls at midnight Wednesday, Aug. 27.

“Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers. 2503 FOREVER,” Peters posted.

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