Posts Tagged Christopher Fire Chief Ron Learned

Christopher Fire Department LODD, 5-5-19 (more)

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Investigators have been on the scene since the fire Sunday morning trying in Christopher to figure out what caused the blaze where 24-year-old Firefighter Kody Vanfossan died while fighting a the fire. They say the building was vacant at the time the fire started.

Christopher Fire Chief Ron Learned said more than 17 fire departments responded to the fire inside the old office furniture store on the corner of Market and Emma Street. An hour into the call, a firefighter called out Mayday after finding someone down inside the fire scene.  Shortly thereafter, firefighters found Vanfossan’s dad, a more than 10-year veteran with the Christopher Fire Department, but they were not able to recover Kody until later. Vanfossan was on the second floor of the building when the Mayday call was issued. 

While Christopher firefighters mourn the loss of their brother, area firefighters are manning the fire station. 

Vanfossan’s visitation will be held Thursday, May 9 from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the Christopher High School Gym with a Firefighter Walk-through set for 7:30 p.m. A Visitation will also be on Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. with a Firefighter Walk-through at 10:45 a.m.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday at the high school with burial to follow at St. Andrews Catholic Cemetery in Christopher. 

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Christopher Fire Department LODD, 5-5-19

Excerpts from

The Christopher Police Department said a call came in around 3:30 a.m. reporting a fire at 118 West Market Street.  Seventeen fire departments and six police departments assisted in battling the two-story structure fire early Sunday morning. 

Christopher Fire Chief Ron Learned said a call for Mayday came an hour after the fire started for someone down inside the fire scene.  “We were able to bring one of those people out and then the other we did not recover until later.”

“The City of Christopher Fire Department announces the line of duty death of Christopher Firefighter Kody Vanfossan. Firefighter Vanfossan fell in the line of duty early this morning while working a commercial building fire in the City of Christopher.”

Christopher’s police chief said that Vanfossan’s dad was also inside the building fighting the fire.  Vanfossan is the grandson of Christopher Mayor Gary Bartolotti.

It’s unclear how the fire started, but officials said the building was a vacant furniture store, and that no one was inside at the time. Crews focused their attention to the top floor of the two-story building where smoke was seen coming out.

The State Fire Marshal is investigating.

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