Columbia fire chief remembers fallen firefighter - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia fire chief remembers fallen firefighter

Chance Zobel (Source: Facebook) Chance Zobel (Source: Facebook)

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Friends, family and colleagues are remembering a fallen Columbia firefighter who was killed in the line of duty Saturday afternoon after being hit by a car on Interstate 20.

Just nine months into his dream job, 23-year-old Chance Zobel's life was cut short while fighting a brush fire on I-20. Interim Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins said Zobel was proud to be a firefighter.
    
Jenkins recalled Zobel's excitement for the job from the very beginning. "I remember meeting with him and he was very eager to get started," said Jenkins. "He was already in the department, he was very eager to get started as a firefighter."

Zobel and another firefighter, Larry Irvin, were putting out a grass fire in the median on I-20 near Clemson Road on Saturday. The South Carolina Highway Patrol said Zobel and Irvin were hit by a Chevy Impala that had been rear-ended by a van.

Troopers said the Impala hit two fire trucks before it struck Zobel and Irvin. Both firefighters were rushed to the hospital. Zobel died, and Irvin is in critical but stable condition.

"I think we all are going to miss a lot about him," said Jenkins. "He was well mannered. You don't find a lot of young men with the mannerisms that he had."

Zobel had humble beginnings at the fire department, according to Jenkins. Three years ago, Zobel was responsible for inspecting fire hydrants. His position was upgraded after a meeting with the chief. "I was interviewing people to be hired and because he was already here with us," Jenkins said. "We knew his desire. We knew he wanted to be a firefighter so we gave him a chance.

Zobel was set to be married to his fiancee in April.  He leaves behind a host of firemen who say he was like a little brother. "We're just going to miss him," said Jenkins.

Chief Jenkins said Zobel is the sixth firefighter in over 100 years of the department's history to be killed in the line of duty. A public memorial for Zobel is being planned, but the exact date has not been set.

Related story:

Copyright 2010 WIS. All rights reserved.

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • Day at the beach turns to panic, tragedy; married couple die

    Day at the beach turns to panic, tragedy; married couple die

    Monday, August 20 2018 3:59 PM EDT2018-08-20 19:59:50 GMT
    Monday, August 20 2018 5:55 PM EDT2018-08-20 21:55:55 GMT
    Four swimmers and a good Samaritan who also got caught in the current were pulled to safety, but a married couple died. (Source: Pixabay)Four swimmers and a good Samaritan who also got caught in the current were pulled to safety, but a married couple died. (Source: Pixabay)

    They came on a boat, Jet Skis and a paddleboard, but couldn't help 2 swimmers who died.

    More >>

    They came on a boat, Jet Skis and a paddleboard, but couldn't help 2 swimmers who died.

    More >>
  • Colorado man charged with murder in deaths of wife, 2 kids

    Colorado man charged with murder in deaths of wife, 2 kids

    Monday, August 20 2018 5:53 PM EDT2018-08-20 21:53:32 GMT
    Monday, August 20 2018 5:55 PM EDT2018-08-20 21:55:53 GMT
    (AP Photo/David Zalubowski). A photograph sits amid the tributes as they grow outside the home where a pregnant woman, Shanann Watts, and her two daughters, Bella and Celeste, lived Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in Frederick, Colo. The woman's husband, Chri...(AP Photo/David Zalubowski). A photograph sits amid the tributes as they grow outside the home where a pregnant woman, Shanann Watts, and her two daughters, Bella and Celeste, lived Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in Frederick, Colo. The woman's husband, Chri...
    Prosecutors have charged a Colorado man with murder in the deaths of his pregnant wife and their two young daughters.More >>
    Prosecutors have charged a Colorado man with murder in the deaths of his pregnant wife and their two young daughters.More >>
  • AP sources: Prosecutors preparing charges against Cohen

    AP sources: Prosecutors preparing charges against Cohen

    Monday, August 20 2018 1:18 PM EDT2018-08-20 17:18:18 GMT
    Monday, August 20 2018 5:55 PM EDT2018-08-20 21:55:30 GMT
    (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE - In a Monday, July 30, 2018 file photo, Michael Cohen, formerly a lawyer for President Trump, leaves his hotel, in New York. Attorney Barbara Jones revealed in a letter filed Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in Manhattan fed...(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE - In a Monday, July 30, 2018 file photo, Michael Cohen, formerly a lawyer for President Trump, leaves his hotel, in New York. Attorney Barbara Jones revealed in a letter filed Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in Manhattan fed...

    Two people familiar with the federal investigation of Michael Cohen say prosecutors are preparing criminal charges against the former Donald Trump lawyer that could be brought before the end of the month.

    More >>

    Two people familiar with the federal investigation of Michael Cohen say prosecutors are preparing criminal charges against the former Donald Trump lawyer that could be brought before the end of the month.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly