Fallen Hero

Ronald Wade Meshell
Huttig Volunteer Fire Department - August 16, 1999

Firefighter Meshell responded along with others from his department to a mutual aid call for a fire in a motor home.  The owner of the mobile home had just filled the fuel tank, driven the motor home to his residence, and parked the vehicle at the top of his driveway.  Upon arriving home, the owner noticed smoke coming from under the hood- he could not extinguish the fire and called the fire department.   Firefighter Meshell and Deputy Chief arrived in a pumper.  As the Huttg pumper arrived on the scene and parked about forty feet downhill from the motor home.  Firefighter Meshell was ordered to pull a 1-1/2" line from the rear of the Huttig pumper to assist a firefighter from another department that had a booster line from the other department's pumper on the fire.  Before the line could be charged, the fuel tank on the motor home ruptured and sent a flood of burning fuel down hill toward firefighter Meshell, another firefighter, and both pumpers.  Firefighter Meshell was not wearing any fire fighting protective clothing, although he had loaded his protective clothing on the pumper prior to response.  He was surrounded by flames for an estimated fifteen seconds and was burned over 96% of his body surface and his airway. 

Printable Rubbing PDF