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Waycross firefighters deal with grief after loss of colleague

Reported by: Catherine Varnum

Reported by: Sam King
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Updated: 12/16/2013 8:31 pm

WAYCROSS, Ga.-- Grief counselors are helping members of the Waycross Fire Department deal with the loss of Lt. David Jeff Little. Little was killed after a ceiling collapsed on him during a fire call on Sunday.

“We say you don’t pick to be a firefighter, that’s something you’re born to be,” said Chief David Eddins, of the Waycross Fire Department. “And that was very true with Jeff.”

Firefighters extinguished most of the flames from a house fire on Isabella Street when a team went in to look for potential hot spots. That’s when the ceiling fell, according to reports received by Eddins, killing Little. Members of the Waycross and Ware County departments helped pull him out of the rubble.

“I told the guys, no one left anything on the table,” Eddins said. “Everybody gave everything they had.”

Eddins credited members of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation for helping with the process.

A memorial service for Little is planned for Wednesday afternoon in Waycross. It will be held at Central Baptist Church on Ava Street. The service begins at 2 p.m.

A funeral is planned for Friday in his native state of Alabama.

"He lost his life foolishly. I mean someone getting fun out of setting fire and watching everyone come here. My husband lost his life," said Lt. Little's wife Dianne Little.

Right now the
Georgia State Fire Marshal's office is looking into how and why someone set this home on fire.

Action News called the office to ask whether it has any idea how the fire started. A spokesperson told us the office isn't releasing the cause right now and that there are no significant leads in determining who is responsible.

A reward of up to $10,000 has been offered for information in the case.

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