HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- A group plans to pay off the mortgage of Lt. Brad Clark, the Hanover County firefighter killed on a call during Tropical Storm Michael.
Officials with the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which was created in honor of a fallen 9/11 firefighter, announced Saturday that they plan to pay off the mortgage on the Clark family's home.
"The mission of Tunnel to Towers is to honor and support the military and first responders and since Lt. Clark was both a member of the military -- having served in the U.S. Army prior to becoming a firefighter -- and died while saving others in the midst of Tropical Storm Michael, Tunnel to Towers is honored to actively support his wife Melanie and his four daughters in the wake of this tragedy," Tunnel to Towers Foundation officials said in an email.
The group has paid off $7 million in mortgage payments for families of slain first responders to "provide reassurance to the surviving spouse and children that their home is secure...," officials said.
A formal ceremony will take place Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Hanover Fire-EMS Station 6 on Chamberlayne Road.
Officials said Lt. Clark's family as well as Hanover Fire-EMS Chief Jethro Piland will be in attendance.
Click here if you would like to make a donation to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.
Memorial service for fallen Hanover firefighter brings large crowd, tears
Lt. Clark was remembered by friends, colleagues and loved ones for his witty sense of humor at his memorial service at Meadow Event Park Wednesday afternoon.
Clark came from a bloodline of firefighters including his father, who shared a bond across a county border.
“Hanover Fire Department, I know Brad loved each and every one of you,” said retired Henrico Chief Bob Clark, the proud father of the fallen hero. He said his son died doing what he loved to do.
Battalion Chief Doug Reynolds, who also works in Henrico, said Brad didn't have to look far for a role model or inspiration.
“He comes from a firefighter family,” said Reynolds. “His dad is a retired battalion chief; he was actually one of my chiefs when I first came on. He has it in his blood. And a little nugget that some may not know, his dad, while off duty, ran into a burning house with no firefighter clothes on and pulled a lady out of the house."
Lt. Clark leaves behind a wife and four daughters.
In this small world but large family of firefighters is Ashley Reynolds. She's Battalion Chief Reynolds’ daughter but also knows one of Lt. Clark's daughters.
"I just think a lot of it is making sure she knows I'm here for her, and if she ever needs to talk to me, my door is open," said Ashley.
Reynolds, whose mother died while she was in middle school, says she's well versed in grief counseling and is there to provide help.
“I’ll try to do sweet things that say, ‘hey, I'm thinking about you,’ and ‘we are in the same club of losing a parent at a young age and we can get through this.’”
"Rest easy my son,” said Clark’s heartbroken father. “Give God a break every now and then."
Clark’s father told the large crowd how proud he was of his son and his rise through the fire service ranks. His dad also asked for continued prayers for the injured firefighters and even for the truck driver who was charged.