Co-workers mourn Bartlett firefighter's death - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Co-workers mourn Bartlett firefighter's death

Brian Ball (Source: Bartlett Fire Department) Brian Ball (Source: Bartlett Fire Department)

By Nick Kenney - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

BARTLETT, TN (WMC-TV) - Family, friends, and co-workers mourned the accidental death of an off-duty Bartlett firefighter Tuesday.

Brian Ball, 34, was killed Monday while helping to clear debris from a tornado ravaged neighborhood in Cordova.

Tuesday, with flags at half staff, the entire Bartlett Fire Department mourned Ball's loss.

"There's an overwhelming feeling of loss," Assistant Chief Danny Baxter said.

Baxter wore a black band over his badge Tuesday as a way to honor his fallen comrade.

Ball served on the Bartlett Fire Department for 12 years, and according to Baxter, performed tasks as varied as fighting fires to answering medical calls.

"He was always one of the first-in and the last-out type of people," Baxter said. "Brian loved being a firefighter. He loved doing his job."

Like many firefighters, Ball worked a second job.  While off city-duty, he worked for a private tree cutting service.

The recent tornado that tore through Cordova brought him to a home in the Countrywood Estates late Monday afternoon.  Hired to remove a fallen tree from the property, Ball was in the middle of the job when something went horribly wrong.

A massive tree trunk fell on Ball, pinning him to the ground.  Witnesses rushed to free him, and paramedics rushed him to St. Francis Hospital.  But Ball died, leaving behind an enormous extended family of firefighters.

"They're just trying absorb all this today process all of it," Baxter said. "And just like with any death in any family, it's going to take some time to do that."

Ball leaves behind a wife and two young children.

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