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Deadly month in N.C. claims 4 volunteer firemen

Firefighter Bradley Long’s death was the fourth associated with a volunteer fire department in North Carolina in just over a month — and the second in the Charlotte area.

Long, a volunteer with Sherrill’s Ford-Terrell Fire and Rescue and a full-time firefighter with the city of Newton, died Monday after he and two other rescue divers had trouble while trying to recover the body of a swimmer who jumped into Lake Norman a day earlier.

All of the most recent deaths were associated with volunteer fire departments.

▪ On April 30, Pineville firefighter Richard Sheltra, 20, died after apparently getting lost while battling a fire in the Edwin Watts golf store on Pineville-Matthews Road. The Mecklenburg County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the accident.

▪ On May 7, Kenly firefighter John Morris Davis, Jr., 45, died of a heart attack while responding to a car crash. Kenly is in Johnston County, east of Raleigh.

▪ On May 12, Hugo firefighter Jay Tyndall, 45, died from a brain aneurysm he developed shortly after responding to a call.

A fifth firefighter, Josh Woods of the Siler City Fire Department, died Jan. 12 when his vehicle crashed while responding to a call.

Ed Brinson, deputy director of the N.C. State Firemen’s Association said North Carolina averages about five deaths per year.

Brinson said he would hate to speculate on a reason for the recent spate of deaths.

“Often when we have a line of duty death, everything was done correct, by the book,” he said. “There was just an unforeseen circumstance.”

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