Ohio Fire Chief Dies of Traumatic Injury

OHIO CITY, OHIO -- Flags in this community are at half-mast in honor of their fire chief, who died Saturday of injuries sustained in a fall days earlier at the firehouse.

Last Thursday, Chief Paul Swander, 73, was found unconscious following a fall from a ladder. He was taken to a local hospital, but later flown to Parkville Hospital in Fort Wayne, Ind., said Mayor Dale Boroff.

Swander died of his injuries on Saturday.

"They were calling for storms here. We think he was going up and down the ladder to make sure the generators were ready," said Boroff, who also is a volunteer. "It looks like he fell backward..."

Swander's life and soul were dedicated to his company. "He has 50-plus years here, and more than 20 as chief. He ran the place..."

Boroff said the loss has it the community hard as so many people admired the chief for his dedication. "When we have the funeral, city buildings will be shut down."

It's also the first line-of-duty death for the company that has 25-30 volunteers.

Funeral services will be announced late Monday.

Funeral Information

Visitation for Chief Swander will be held Wednesday, Feb. 6 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Cowan and Son Funeral Home.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, Feb. 7 at 1 p.m. Thursday at Calvary Evangelical Church.