Firefighters around the world honor boy, 4, who died in fire

James Raugh’s family created #JRaughOnDuty to honor his dream of being a firefighter, and hundreds of departments answered the call


By FireRescue1 Staff

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A viral campaign resulted in hundreds of firefighters honoring a four-year-old boy with dreams of becoming a firefighter who died in a house fire.

WLTX reported that James Raugh, along with his father and two siblings, died in a house fire Jan. 8, and his family honored his firefighter ambitions on social media by posting a photo of James with the hashtag #JRaughOnDuty in the hopes that fire departments would honor him before his funeral on Friday.

"He just loved the lights and sirens," James’ uncle, firefighter T.J. Johnson, said. "Any time he'd come to the house, even if I didn't have a call, he wanted to turn these red lights and stuff on in my truck."

Johnson said he even carries small firefighting gear in his truck, just for James.

Hundreds of fire departments around the world answered the call in just hours and sent James “on duty.”

"I probably have 500 photos on my phone of fire trucks, or fire helmets, not even in the U.S., but in Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Saudi Arabia," Johnson said. "It's everywhere."

"We couldn't think of anything better here at the Columbia Fire Department than support him and let him ride with us, let him be on duty with us," Columbia Fire Department Captain Brick Lewis said. "We want to keep his memory alive for his family's sake, his friends and for the fire service that had to respond to that call."

 

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