Gulfport firefighters respond to tragic loss of coworker's children

Gulfport firefighters respond to tragic loss of coworker's children

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - It was a dreary day in Gulfport as a continuous rain only added to the sadness that has befallen Station 7. The firefighters on duty tried doing their daily routines, but there was no way to hide their concern for the pain and sorrow they know fellow firefighter Jimmy Ward and his wife are dealing with.

"Words can't really describe, you know, such a loss," said Holden Stegall.

Stegall is an engineer at Station 7 and was slated to be relieved by Ward in the morning.

"You just be there. Whatever he needs. Whatever anybody needs," said Stegall.

Gulfport Fire Chief Michael Beyerstadt said besides city firefighters, others along the Coast have responded to the heartbreak.

"We've had retired firefighters calling, city officials, "said Beyerstadt. "Dr. Kelly called, the mayor, city council members," said Beyerstadt. "We've had other agencies, Harrison County Fire Services, D'Iberville police and fire, trying to help the firemen get through the tough times."

Firefighters deal with tragedy on a regular basis, but this time it hits home.

"I want to call Jimmy. He's received several calls, but I feel like sometimes, maybe you just give somebody a hug. You just be there for him, "said Stegall.

The men at Station 7 are still tasked with protecting their city. They responded to a call just minutes after our interview.

If you would like to help Jimmy Ward and his wife, you can contribute to the Jimmy Ward Gulfport Firemen's Fund by contacting any branch at Bancorp South.

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