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B.C. department mourns firefighter

Nov. 23, 2010, South Cariboo, B.C. - The Cariboo Regional District’s Lone Butte Volunteer Fire Department is mourning the loss of one of its own. Henry Van Kessel, a volunteer firefighter, died Saturday, Nov. 20, after succumbing to his injuries from a motor vehicle accident.

November 23, 2010
By Cariboo Regional District

At approximately 10:30 a.m., Van Kessel, 62, was travelling to the Lone Butte fire hall in response to a mutual-aid call from the Watch/Green Lake Volunteer Fire Department for a chimney fire. Just east of the fire hall on Highway 24, Van Kessel was involved in a two-vehicle incident.

The Lone Butte Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene. Firefighters initiated first-responder and auto-extrication tactics and called for mutual aid assistance from the 100 Mile House Fire Department’s auto extrication unit. Van Kessel was transported to the 100 Mile House and District Memorial Hospital where he unfortunately succumbed to his injuries.

150 Mile House Volunteer Fire Department Chief Stan McCarthy provided Worker’s Compensation Board critical incident counselling to Lone Butte members on Saturday and will return to offer further support.

Van Kessel had been a member of the department since 2007. He leaves behind family and many friends from the south Cariboo, Vancouver’s Lower Mainland, Ontario and Cuba. Members of the Lone Butte Volunteer Fire Department and Van Kessel’s family are making service arrangements.

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