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Gathering to honor one of their own

Firefighters and emergency personnel from as far away as Ohio plan to attend a memorial service for Keith Hess, who was killed i

Firefighters and emergency personnel from as far away as Ohio plan to attend a memorial service for Keith Hess, who was killed i

January 24, 2003|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

More than 1,000 firefighters and emergency services personnel are expected to attend a memorial service Saturday for Shippensburg firefighter Keith Hess, who died in a Huntingdon County, Pa., blaze earlier this week.

By Thursday afternoon, an estimated 75 to 100 companies had notified Franklin County Emergency Management Coordinator Don Eshleman Jr. of their intent to attend the service.

"They're coming from as far as Ohio to southern Maryland and Virginia," Eshleman said.

Hess, a volunteer firefighter with Shippensburg's West End Fire Department, and a paid emergency medical technician with the Fannett-Metal Fire Department, was killed Monday when the chimney of a Blairs Mills, Pa., home collapsed and trapped him while he was putting out "hot spots" from a fire, according to fire officials.

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State Police officials in Huntingdon, Pa., who are investigating the blaze, said Thursday there was no new information on the fire.

Hess, 22, lived in Shippensburg and had joined the fire department at age 14 as a junior member.

A memorial service is slated for 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Shippensburg Area Senior High School. All emergency services personnel are asked to be inside by 2 p.m.

Following the service, emergency services personnel will stand and offer a hand salute as the procession passes on its way to Spring Hill Cemetery. Hess' casket will be carried in a fire engine to the cemetery, Eshleman said.

The funeral route goes east on West King Street to Lurgan Avenue, past the West End Fire and Rescue Co. to the cemetery entrance on Roxbury Road.

Visiting fire apparatus will be lined up as an honor guard.

Eshleman said the Hess family is still working on other details of the service and funeral.

A viewing at Fogelsanger-Bricker Funeral Home at 112 W. King St. in Shippensburg will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. today for visiting fire and emergency services personnel and after 6 p.m. for the community, friends, relatives and personnel from the West End Shippensburg and Fannett-Metal fire departments.

Departments have been asked not to bring apparatus to the funeral home.

The family has established a fund in Hess' honor. Donations can be made to Keith Hess Memorial Fund, West End Fire and Rescue, 49 Lurgan Ave., Shippensburg, PA 17257.

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