NC firefighter, 25, dies in off-duty crash while ‘enjoying the great outdoors he loved’

Firefighter Joseph Orr

Clarks Chapel Fire Department

A North Carolina firefighter tragically died this weekend in a workplace accident.

On Sunday, Clarks Chapel Fire-Rescue, a fire department located in Macon County, announced the Facebook that firefighter Joseph Orr “lost his life in a tragic accident yesterday while enjoying the great outdoors he loved”.

Although the exact details of the 25-year-old’s death are not publicly known, Fire Chief Trae Perry told PEOPLE in a statement that the accident happened in a hiking area and popular swimming spot of Macon County.

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In a post shared on a GoFundMe page created to help with funeral costs, the organizer wrote that Orr “was with friends and was dragged underwater by a current and never surfaced”.

Perry told PEOPLE that Orr joined Clarks Chapel Fire-Rescue “about four months ago” and described the young firefighter as “one of those guys who never turned down a challenge, or even had one. think twice”.

Firefighter Joseph Orr

Firefighter Joseph Orr

Clarks Chapel Fire Department

“Joseph was strong as an ox and just as determined. He was passionate about serving his fellow man and his community,” Perry added. “He quickly grew from our ‘newbie’ to an honored and valued member of the family of our department. Joseph never missed an opportunity to help, train or answer calls, and was eager to help in every way. possible ways. Joseph lived his life to the fullest and never missed an opportunity.”

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“I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to know Joseph and to get close enough to him to call him my family,” Perry continued. “I am hurt that I missed the opportunity to get to know him better and watch him grow and develop in the fire service. I am overwhelmed by the support the community has shown during this time. intend to stay strong for his family, and give our best in honor of Joseph.”

Orr’s death is still under investigation, Perry said.

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By Tuesday morning, the GoFundMe set up to help Orr’s family had raised nearly $1,000.

“Personally, I didn’t know [Orr] but family is family and they will need help,” wrote organizer Geraldine Kreisher, who said she was raising funds on behalf of her daughter-in-law, Orr’s sister. boy had a bright future ahead of him. My heart goes out to all the family and friends.”