When a fire crew received a call that a mobile home was engulfed in flames, they immediately responded. One of the firefighters who worked diligently to put out the fire was Captain Charles. After completing the job, he went home. Hours later, his son found him unresponsive.
We all aspire to be different from one another, and for this reason, many of us might choose professions that help set us apart from the rest. Finding our place in the world and making an impact, however big or small, isn’t always easy. However, it’s worth giving a shot.
Choosing noble occupations like the armed forces, joining the police, or becoming a firefighter is equivalent to risking one’s life to ensure the safety of others. Indeed, jeopardizing your life to protect others requires immense courage and a loving heart. Today’s story is about a brave warrior who left behind a rich legacy for his family and friends.
A Committed Firefighter
Charles Krampota lived in Alvin, Texas. He had been associated with the Alvin Volunteer Fire Department for more than 20 years. He held the prestigious rank of “Captain” and had worked for the Alvin Independent School District for 38 years as a Mechanical Systems Manager.
His death marks the third fireman death since the fire started on July 17, 2022.
His family, friends, and colleagues also referred to him as “Charlie” and “Chuckles” and looked up to him for support and guidance. Captain Charles was highly valued for his years of expertise, unwavering commitment, and incessant devotion to the fire department.
Loved by All
His friend and co-worker, Scott Salter from the Alvin Volunteer Fire Department, described him in these words:
“Charlie was a captain here in the department. There are six captains. All of the 60 firefighters in our volunteer department report to one of those captains. He was a 20-year member and multi-year position holder for the secretary in our department. He was also our department photographer for a number of years.”
On Friday, September 23, 2022, Charles and a group of other firemen from AVFD answered a fire call at a mobile home off Susie Lane in Alvin. When the fire crew arrived at the scene, they found the building fully engulfed in flames.
The Hardest Goodbye
According to AVFD, the mobile home was vacant, and there was nobody inside. A short time later, Captain Charles and his team worked tirelessly to put out the fire. After completing his job, the 60-year-old Alvin man headed home, unaware of what the next few hours would bring.
Before leaving, Charles waved goodbye to the firefighting squad and hoped to see them again the next morning. Hours after he went home, his son, Seth Krampota, reportedly found him unresponsive.
Sadly, the loving father, hardworking firefighter, and devoted friend passed away, leaving his loved ones in pieces. Regarding the heartbreaking news of his dad’s demise, Seth wrote:
“Honestly don’t even know what to say right now. My dad was an amazing man that would do anything for anyone. It was too soon way too soon (sic).”
Remembering Captain Charles
The AVFD released an official statement confirming the death of their valued fireman. The fire crew also paid a heartfelt tribute to their beloved Captain Charles, vowing to carry on his legacy. A part of the statement by Chief Rex Klesel read:
“Charlie was an outstanding firefighter, and friend to so many. One of the most dependable and hardworking individuals I have ever met. He will be sorely missed.”
While the exact cause of Charles’s death remains unknown, his passing is being considered a line-of-duty death as he was fighting a fire the morning before.
A statement from the Alvin Independent School District said Charles’s death was a tremendous loss for them. It acknowledged the late firefighter’s service of over 37 years, which he performed with a willing heart and an infectious smile.
Per AVFD, the Brazoria County Fire Marshal’s Office and the state Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating the cause of the mobile home fire and Charles’s death.
The Online Support
Several netizens shared their deepest condolences on the sad demise of Captain Charles:
“THANK YOU SIR FOR YOUR SERVICE AND SACRIFICE FOR THE PEOPLE OF YOUR TOWN. MAY YOU REST IN PEACE AND I SALUTE YOU SIR !!!!!”
— (@patrick.leon.986227) September 26, 2022
“So sorry for your loss. Prayers for the family.”
— (@nicki.tegge) September 26, 2022
“A magnificent hero. I hope they declare him one.”
— (@doriesmith.jennings) September 26, 2022
Another Line-Of-Duty Death
In other news, a longtime fireman, Gerardo Rincon, suffered a medical emergency while fighting the Moose Fire in Salmon, Idaho. He was a crew boss hailing from Oregon and worked for North Reforestation Incorporation. According to Salmon-Challis National Forest Supervisor Charles A. Mark:
“Gerardo served as a wildland firefighter since 1994. During his 28-year career he was a Type 2 firefighter, engine captain, and crew boss. He was highly recognized for his performance by his employers and crew members enjoyed working for him during many fire assignments.”
The Moose Fire happens to be one of the largest wildfires in the U.S. 48-year-old Rincon reportedly died on Tuesday, September 22, while battling the horrific fire. His death marks the third fireman death since the fire started on July 17, 2022. No other details have been shared regarding the wildland fireman’s demise.
Rincon’s funeral mass will be held on September 29 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of both firefighters. May God grant eternal peace to Charles and Rincon. Thank you for sacrificing your lives to ensure our safety.