7-year firefighter dies while on duty


By Travis Gettys
The Cincinnati Enquirer

ALEXANDRIA - A volunteer firefighter died Thursday morning, apparently from a heart attack, the first on-duty fatality in the department's history.

Ken Temke, 45, a seven-year veteran of the Alexandria Fire District, was on one of two trucks that responded to a 7:46 a.m. vehicle fire on Poplar Ridge Road.

After firefighters on the first truck contained the blaze, dispatchers sent the truck on which Temke rode back to the station.

"I guess Kenny got off the second truck, and that's when it happened," said Alexandria Fire Department Lt. David Maupin.

An emergency medical service crew took Temke to St. Luke Hospital East, where he was pronounced dead at 8:45 a.m.

Surviving are his wife, Rhonda, and their 6-year-old twins, Andrew and Rebecca.

Temke will receive a full fallen firefighter funeral early next week, Maupin said.

Maupin said firefighters and other personnel leaned on each other through a somber day.

"Everybody's coming together family-like, taking care of each other but taking care of the needs of the community," he said.