Tennessee Firefighter Dies At Fire Scene

A Tenessee firefighter died in the line of duty Thursday, December 5 when he suffered a cardiac arrest while operating a pumper at a house fire.

Firefighter Dennis Harris, 43, served the Mt. Vernon Volunteer Fire Department for 10 years.

The Mt. Vernon VFD was responding to the incident as mutual aid. Paramedics from neighboring departments transported Harris to Sweetwater Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at about 10 p.m., said Chief Steve Teaque.

Teaque described Harris as outgoing and giving. "He was someone that always had other people at heart," the chief said. "He was always willing to reach out and help anyone."

Harris worked on road construction and was a minister at Faith Baptist Church in Sweetwater. Teaque said Harris's life revolved around his family, the church and the fire department.

Harris is survived by his wife Tammy, three adult daughters, and his 13-year-old son. Harris and his wife also have custody of her brother's children, ages 9 and 11.

"He's going to be deeply missed by the fire department and the community," Teaque said.

The funeral took place Saturday, December 7 at the Biereley-Hale Funeral Home in Madisonville, TN.

This was the first line of duty death in the tightly knit, 12-member department. The Mt. Vernon VFD covers an area of about 5 square miles