People in Locust Grove are mourning the loss of their longtime fire chief.
Locust Grove Fire Chief Ray Vaughn spent nearly four decades with the department before he died this week from COVID-19.
Shortly after Vaughn passed away at the age of 65 on Monday, firefighter Kyle Cagle said the entire town turned out in support to watch a multiagency vehicle procession in Chief Vaughn's honor.
“It was really amazing and heart-wrenching at the same time. Knowing that there was that many people that loved our chief. Sounds like there’s going to be a lot of people that miss your chief. Absolutely," Cagle said.
The loss weighs heavy on the hearts of firefighters like Cagle, who saw Vaughn as more than a chief.
“He’s a wonderful man. Almost a father figure to many of us," he said. “We already got a picture hanging up in the station of him.”
In that way, he's still watching over the station as trucks move out and back in between calls.
Vaughn leaves behind a wife and three daughters. Cagle said he owned a towing service here in town.
“He may have been a wrecker driver for a living, but he was a firefighter at heart," Cagle said. “We’re going to miss him a lot, even though he’s not physically with us, he’s going to run on every call with us still.”
Vaughn’s service will be this Sunday at 3 p.m. Cagle said the Bank of Locust Grove has set up a fund for Vaughn's family.