B.C. firefighters flock to volunteer's funeral
Published Thursday, January 5, 2012 3:01PM PST
Hundreds of firefighters converged on the small British Columbia town of Enderby Thursday to pay their respects to fallen comrade Dan Botkin, who died in an explosion last week.
Flags at B.C. fire halls have been flying at half mast since Botkin was killed on Dec. 29, and early Thursday morning firefighters in the province piled onto buses to attend the volunteer's funeral.
They were joined by Canadian counterparts from as far away as Ontario.
Asst. Fire Chief Larry Watkinson of the Mission Fire Rescue Service said the death of a firefighter is always felt "throughout the entire fire service community."
"It's a terrible thing," Watkinson said. "We all attend the funeral as if it's one of our own brothers or sisters."
Some Enderby businesses closed and local school children were let out of class early to attend a funeral procession through town.
Botkin, who has been described as a hardworking newlywed who worked two jobs, was killed and another firefighter injured during a fire at a log home business.
The blaze appeared to be under control when a shed at the site suddenly exploded.
Botkin was 29 years old.
The cause of the explosion is being investigated by the BC Coroners Service, WorkSafe BC and the Fire Commissioner's Office.