Mississippi Service Firefighter Collapses Battling Blaze At Osceola National Forest, Florida

Tallahassee -- On Thursday, May 13, 2004, Randy Henderson, 42, a USDA Forest Service Firefighter, died while working on a lightning caused wildfire on the Osceola National Forest. The 100-acre Mailbox Fire was contained later that evening.

Henderson collapsed on the fire line during initial response to the fire. Cause of death is unknown. Henderson had been detailed to the Osceola National Forests as acting Fire Management Officer for only three weeks from his permanent duty station in Mississippi.

"Randy's entire Ranger District is saddened and in shock. He will certainly be missed by all. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, " said Dave Carter, District Ranger on the Bienville National Forest. Henderson served as the Assistant Fire Management Officer on the Bienville located in Forest, Mississippi and spent his entire Forest Service career, approximately 23 years, on that forest.

Henderson is survived by his wife, Patsy, and two daughters, Nicki, 19, and Stacy, 14, his mother, Bobbie Nell, sister, Wanda Henderson and brother, Lambert Henderson. Randy and Lambert worked together as employees of the Bienville National Forest.

Marsha Kearney, Forest Supervisor for the National Forests in Florida said, "Randy is a member of our Forest Service family, and will be deeply missed. Our sincere condolences go to his family and friends."

Funeral arrangements are pending.