The newly named chief of the Farmington Fire Company was killed in an early morning accident Saturday outside Milford.
Cpl. Jeff Oldham of the Delaware State Police said Mark A. Wix, 30, apparently lost control of his Mercury Grand Marquis on a curve on Williamsville Road one mile west of Milford about 1:30 a.m. The vehicle struck a mailbox and a tree and caught fire, killing Wix, Oldham said.
Wix had been with the company since April 1990. He served as a junior fireman from 1990 to 1992 before rising through the ranks to fire captain, training officer and assistant chief. He was named chief on his birthday, Jan. 8.
Family members said Wix aspired to be fire chief since he was a little boy. Growing up, the fire company was central to his life. His mother, Louise Wix, is a volunteer firefighter. His late father, Roger Wix, was a fire police officer. His sister, Jill Wix, is a Sussex County paramedic.
"The members of the Farmington Fire Department and the Delaware Volunteer Firemen's Association are profoundly saddened by the tragic loss," Jim Cubbage of the firemen's association said in a statement.
"The men and women of both organizations extend their deepest sympathy to the Wix family and have offered their heartfelt support to the family on behalf of Delaware's fire service family."
Several other fire companies stepped in to provide fire services in Farmington while firefighters there cope with the loss of their chief.
Family members said Wix drilled water wells for a living. His hobbies included hunting.
Wix is survived by his mother, sister and a brother, Robert Wix, all of Farmington.
Funeral plans were not available Saturday.