UPDATE: Local VFD fire chief killed in accident after medical issue
A fire chief at a volunteer fire department in Nicholas County has died after an accident Wednesday.
Nicholas County Emergency Management tells WSAZ that Tim Blake was killed in the accident.
Blake, 48, was the fire chief at the Craigsville-Beaver-Cottle Volunteer Fire Department.
NCEM says Blake suffered what they believe to be a heart attack before the accident. They believe he died from the medical issue, not from the accident.
The accident happened on state Route 55 at Boone Hill Road.
Blake was driving a wrecker service vehicle that's a part of a company he owns.
Members of Blake's family responded to the accident since they also work for the department.
Members of the Pinch, Summersville, Richwood and other volunteer fire departments are currently covering the area as Blake's family mourns.
Deputies say Blake had been a member of the Craigsville Fire Department since 1987. He had been chief for 23 years.
The Nicholas County Sheriff's Department posted the following on its social media:
"We extend our condolences to the Blakes and all of the Fire family. #1301 you will be sorely missed."
In addition to his duties as chief, Blake also served as the president of the Nicholas County Fire Association. The Association has posted a link on their website for anyone wishing to donate to help Blake's family cover funeral expenses.
Viewing services for Blake will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 1, at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Craigsville. In place of flowers, Blake's family is requesting that donations be made to the Nicholas County Fire Association to help fund training for future firefighters.
Funeral services will be held beginning at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2. Emergency officials say they are planning on holding a full firefighter memorial, complete with a procession of firetrucks from St. Luke's to West Virginia Memorial Gardens in Calvin, where Blake will be laid to rest.