WILLIAMSON, W.Va. – For only the second time in the 114 year history of the Williamson Fire Department (WFD), the department has lost an active member.
On Thursday morning the department responded to a call for one of their own when 34 year old Lt. Stephen Casey was found unresponsive in his home.
Casey was a 16 year veteran of the department, starting out in January 2001 as a part-time firefighter, he then moved to full-time status in June 2008. Casey was promoted to Lieutenant in December of 2011.
WFD Chief Joey Carey said, “In the two years since I have taken over as Chief, Stephen had been my right hand guy, with him being my oldest lieutenant – I depended on him to take care of business in my absence, we developed a wonderful working relationship. Stephan will be someone I can’t replace, he grew up in this department as a kid with his dad and he had a lot of enthusiasm for the department.”
Carey continued by saying, “The fire department is a different kind of work atmosphere, although there is no blood relation, we take care of our own and those little boys will have a ton of uncles at that department forever and right now they are our main concern.”
WFD Lt. Garrett “G “ Gregory who started at the WFD around the same time as Casey said “I have lost the one true friend I could lean on, I and my fellow firefighters will make sure his kids and wife are taken care of for life.”
Recently, most residents in the Tug Valley area became familiar with Lt. Casey’s name due to his fantastic fireworks displays at Spook Fest and the during the Small Business Saturday events that took place the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Stephen was also responsible for the beautiful works of art that filled the sky over Mingo Central High School during the last home game of the season and throughout the home playoff games.
Tonya Webb worked with Casey on planning the firework events for the area during both Halloween and Christmas. “Stephen was truly an asset to our community, he was always wanting to know what we could do to make things fun, he loved doing the fireworks shows and went above and beyond what was ever expected of him, he was the mastermind behind the shows, he worked with everyone but he was the one who did all the planning,” said Webb.
Webb also said shortly before his unexpected death she and Casey had been talking about make plans for some events for the area in the upcoming year.
Fellow Williamson Fire Department (WFD) firefighter/EMT Brandon Hager said, “I worked with Lt. Casey for more than 10 years in emergency services, the City of Williamson and Mingo County as a whole has lost a great asset, he was one of the most knowledgeable people I knew, always a good “go to” guy. Above all he was a husband and a father, please keep his family in your prayers in this time of need.”
Funeral arrangements for Lt. Casey are incomplete at this time and will be announced later by the Hatfield Funeral Chapel of Toler, Ky.
Kendra Mahon is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News and can be contacted at [email protected] or 304-235-4242 ext 2278.