North Carolina Firefighter Collapses, Dies

A Millers Creek firefighter died Sunday after experiencing an apparent heart attack at a house fire.


MILLERS CREEK, N.C. -- A firefighter died here Sunday after experiencing an apparent heart attack at a house fire.

William Gray Parsons, 58, was an engineer with Millers Creek Volunteer Fire Department.

On Saturday night, he drove the engine tanker from Millers Creek Station 2 to a house fire. When he arrived, he slumped over the wheel.

"He told the firefighter riding with him that he wasn't feeling well, and that his chest hurt. It felt like there was something sitting on his chest," said Capt. Matt Triplett.

He was treated by paramedics on the scene, and transported to Wilkes Regional Medical Center. He was then transferred to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center via Air Care. He died early Sunday morning.

Chief Jason Smithey described Parsons as a very active member who will be missed. He joined the fire department eight years ago.

Parsons worked for the North Carolina Forest Service.

This was the first line-of-duty death for the fire department. Fellow firefighters met Sunday night with grief counselors.

Funeral Services

Visitation will be at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home on Thursday, Feb. 5 from 6-8 p.m. Funeral will be held at Millers Creek Baptist Church on Friday, Feb. 6 at 11:30 a.m. with graveside service to follow at Stony Hill Baptist Church in Parsonsville, NC.

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