Berwick Mourns The Loss of Local Firefighter Captain Joel Barnes
The close-knit town of Berwick, Maine held a service on Saturday to honor their fallen firefighter Captain Joel Barnes, 32, who was killed in a four-alarm fire on Friday afternoon, according to Seacoast Online.
The origin and cause of the fire are yet undetermined, and four other firefighters were injured fighting the flames. Firefighters traveled to Concord, New Hampshire where Barnes' autopsy took place and proceeded back to Dover, Maine. As they passed, fire and police departments gathered to solute along the route. Highway signs honoring Barnes could be seen as far west as Brattleboro, Vermont.
Judging by current findings, Captain Barnes was leading his fellow firefighter in an interior attack of the fire when it worsened drastically. Fire department chaplain Joe Chambers said all indications were that he saved the other firefighters through his brave actions, Seacost Online reports.
“Captain Barnes died a hero, battling a large and dangerous building fire. He made the ultimate sacrifice for his community,” said Fire Chief Dennis Plante.
Barnes was a paramedic and served as the Berwick Fire & Rescue training officer and emergency medical services coordinator. His career took him to the Horry County (South Carolina) Fire Rescue Department, South Berwick Rescue, York Ambulance and the Old Orchard Beach Fire Department before joining Berwick Fire in July of 2016.