Alabama Firefighter Dies after Shift

Firefighters in Mobile, Ala. are mourning the loss of Captain Samuel W. Downing.

Downing, a 22-year-veteran of the Mobile Fire-Rescue Department collapsed Saturday, June 30 after returning home from a 24-hour shift.

An autopsy report into the exact cause of his death is pending.

Captain Walt Riley said Downing, 45, never lost his enthusiasm for the job.

"Every time the lights came on to make a run, he was just as excited as probably the first run he ever made," Riley said. "He never got tired of it. If he could come to work every day and make run after run after run, he'd be happy."

Riley said Downing worked hard as one of the captains of the department's hazardous materials response team, but he also loved educating the public about fire safety.

"He had a bit that he did about fire safety and the right way to get out of your house alive," Riley said. "It was amazing how he related to kids. They would sit there in awe."

Downing leaves behind his wife, Lisa, and three children.

Funeral Information

Visitation for Captain Downing will be held Tuesday, July 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Radney's Funeral Home.

A funeral procession is scheduled for Wednesday, July 4 at 10 a.m. The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. at Wilmer United Methodist Church in Wilmer, Ala.

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