They were training to fight fires in the winter weather when something went terribly wrong.
Elkhorn City Firefighters were practicing putting snow chains on a fire truck when an air bag shifted and hit chief Todd Rowe in the chest, killing him.
Firefighters in Elkhorn City are mourning the loss of one of their own. One who they say made a big difference in the community.
"Todd was a good person. I've know him since we were kids and he was a fine individual. He served his community proud," John Moore, Assistant Fire Chief.
The 30-year old firefighter was killed Thursday night after an air lifting bag used to install snow chains on a fire truck struck his body.
His colleagues are mourning the loss of a man they took under their wing as a child to become a firefighter.
"Todd was very dedicated individual. Since he was a young child he's been active in the fire department. He's served with several fire departments since then and he was an excellent instructor," Grondall Potter said.
Rowe served as fire chief for seven years, a time many of his fellow firefighters say was filled with many accomplishments such as a new fire truck that was recently purchased.
Rowe's colleagues at the Elkhorn City Fire Department describe their friend and chief by saying that he had a passion, a calling for fire service and that they're going to miss a friend who gave so much to the community.
As the American Flag stands at half-mast next to the Christmas wreath, the firefighters say one thing is for certain that their friend and leader won't be forgotten.
"He was proactive, proud of his department and of all his members and we'll try to keep that alive for him."
A tragic loss during the holiday season for this eastern Kentucky city.
Fire officials say funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.
Rowe's brother is flying back home from military duty to be with the family.