NC Chief Dies While Under COVID-19 Quarantine

April 9, 2020
Tryon Fire Chief James "Tank" Waters was adhering to a precautionary coronavirus quarantine when he fell ill at home and later died at a hospital Tuesday.

Editor's note: Find's complete coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic here.

A fire chief from a small town in western North Carolina has died after falling ill at home while being under quarantine amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The U.S. Fire Administration on Thursday announced the line-of-duty death of Tryon Fire Department Chief James "Tank" Waters, who was 40 years old and had been in the fire service for 20 years.

According to the USFA, Chief Waters was working from home while adhering to a precautionary coronavirus quarantine when he fell ill on Tuesday. Emergency crews responded to the residence and began to treat the chief before transporting him to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Chief Waters served with the Town of Columbus Fire Department before joining the department in Tryon, and he also worked part-time with the Saluda Fire Department and the Henderson County Rescue Squad, according to a press release from the Tryon Fire Department.

"Chief Waters, Tank, was larger than life. He was a true public servant," the release says. "His passing leaves an irreplaceable void in public service and the emergency services community here in Polk County."

Voice Your Opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Firehouse, create an account today!