Services pending for fallen Iowa firefighter

January 8, 2019

CLINTON, Iowa – Services are pending for a Clinton firefighter who died Saturday while fighting a grain silo fire that caused an explosion at the Archer Daniels Midland plant.

Lt. Eric Hosette, 33, made his last trip to Central Fire Station Sunday afternoon, as his body was brought home after an autopsy in Ankeny. The American and Iowa flags flew at half staff as a crowd gathered to show their respect; and trucks carrying Albany and Fulton firefighters were among those present.

Services likely will be held at the end of the week, Clinton City Administrator Matt Brooke said in a news release Sunday.

Firefighter and paramedic Adam Cain, 23, injured in the explosion, is being treated in Iowa City.

“He is now breathing on his own, awake and alert,” Brooke said.

Material in one of the silo storage bins at the plant’s loading facility caused the explosion; the incident is under investigation and no further information has been released.

Clinton Fire Lt. Allen Schutte doesn’t remember ever losing a firefighter in Clinton. He was one of many who fought tears Sunday afternoon as they waited for the hearse carrying Hosette.

“We’re here to show our respect,” said Mike Henshaw, who was accompanied by his 5-year-old daughter, Nerissa Clark. “She wants to be a firefighter.”

His grandfather and cousin were firefighters, Henshaw said.

Sue Roberts’ family delivered a plate of cookies to the fire station before taking their place among the crowd on Third Avenue South. Roberts and her wife, Liz, used to work for the fire department in Coal City, Illinois, and “our son-in-law, Joe [Dawes], is going to paramedic school,” she said.

Some of Clinton’s firefighters are in paramedic class with him, Dawes said. He and his wife, Jamie, and their two young children, Sawyer and Piper, joined the onlookers across from the fire station.

Judy Schaley kept chemical hand-warmers in her fists as she waited on the corner of Third Avenue South and Fourth Street.

“If I had to stay out here 10 hours to wait for him I would,” Schaley said.

Schaley walked to the station on the blustery day “to give respect to the firefighters for what they do for us. To tell them all that we’re grateful to have them in our lives.”

State Rep. Mary Wolfe of Clinton stood beside her neighbors in Clinton Park on Sunday afternoon.

“I’m very, very sad for the family and friends,” Wolfe said. “I think it’s lovely that so many members of the community have come out to show their support.”

As the hearse continued to Snell-Zornig Funeral Home, firefighters received a call. Onlookers stepped back from the street and waited as a fire engine and rescue vehicle pulled out of the station.

Duty calls.

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