Ohio Fire Chief Dies Suddenly

He served the city of Marietta as a proud fire chief for almost eight years. Ted Baker was all about protecting and serving the citizens of the Pioneer City. Baker was sworn into office in July 1998 by then Mayor Joe Matthews.

Then and now he put his firefighters first, trying tirelessly to get the fire department up to staff. It was a battle sometimes more exhausting than fighting the most ferocious of fires. It was often a battle between him and the city.

We're told Baker suffered a heart attack Tuesday night playing basketball with firefighters from his department. They played every Tuesday night in Reno. It was something the fire chief looked forward to.

Firefighters immediately tried to resuscitate Baker who collapsed around 8 p.m. Fellow firefighters say he never complained of feeling ill.

Marietta firefighters spent the evening at Marietta Memorial Hospital where Baker was pronounced dead.

Marietta Mayor Michael Mullen and Baker's family were also by his side. He leaves behind a wife, children, and grandchildren.

Parkersburg Fire Chief Steve Gainer says Baker was "a wonderful guy." Those in the community would agree.

Baker was 53 years old.

Republished with permission of WTAP-TV