CHARLOTTE, Iowa (KWQC) - Lt. Eric Hosette grew up in Charlotte, Iowa, where his grandfather was the town's fire chief for 35 years.
"It's a great loss for our community," said Charlotte Assistant Fire Chief, Brad Burken. "Growing up, Eric was in the area with his grandpa a lot so he grew up around our fire department, and as any young kid you enjoy watching them grow and learn things."
Assistant Chief Burken considered Hosette's grandfather, Dick Grimm, a father figure, and says Eric was meant to be a firefighter.
"That's what firefighters do, they hang together pretty tight," said Burken. "Many of his closest friends are on our department so they're hurting."
He says Hosette's family is on everyone's mind now, including the young daughter he leaves behind.
"She was his sidekick so hearts go out to them," said Burken. "We'll circle our wagons and get through it with the support - the outreach from the communities and just the whole area, professional and volunteer, it's amazing and it's overwhelming."
The other fireman in the accident, Adam Cain, was close to the Charlotte fire station as well.
"The Charlotte and Goose Lake Fire Departments work hand in hand with each other, we are basically partners or brothers," he said. "Adam Cain is still obviously in critical condition so the Cain family is still in our mind too yet."
He says everyone should hold their loved ones a little tighter today.
"Appreciate your volunteers and your paid people too. Those that sacrifice, sometimes they pay a big price."