They called him "Mikey".
31-year-old Michael Hart, an Elkins firefighter, died around 10:30 Tuesday night when a tractor trailer swerved to avoid a stopped car and crashed into oncoming traffic. Hart was off-duty at the time. But co-workers are still in shock after losing one of their own.
"Firefighters are like brothers," says Eddie White with the Belington Volunteer Fire Department.
Black ribbons are now a solemn reminder of one emergency call they never expected. Now, the phone keeps ringing. Condolensces from friends and family.
It's all especially hard for firefighter Phil Hart. He's Mike's uncle.
"He was a good man," says Hart. "He just loved the fire service and he worked to make a difference. He's going to be greatly missed."
Missed by firefighters all over North Central West Virginia, Hart had worked for the Clarksburg, Bridgeport and Elkins fire departments. He volunteered in Belington.
Hart leaves behind a wife and two young children. He had been volunteering as a firefighter since he was 16 years old.
Funeral arrangements are as follows:
The funeral will be held at the Talbot Funeral Home, in Belington.
Visitation Monday, December 26, 2005 2 p.m - 9 p.m.
Firefighter Viewing : 6:30 p.m. *All Firefighter/EMS personnel are to meet at Belington FD at 6:30 p.m.
Funeral Service Tuesday, December 27th, 2005
Visitation will be held at the Light of Christ Chapel, in Belington friom Noon till 2:00 o'clock.
Funeral is set for 2 o'clock that afternoon.