N.C. firefighter dies of COVID-19; wife also hospitalized, still battling the virus
Firefighter Jeffery Hager, 46, served with the Charlotte and Huntersville fire departments
The Charlotte Observer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A longtime firefighter has died of COVID-19, the Charlotte Fire Department said Saturday.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the tragic passing of Charlotte Firefighter Jeffery Hager, a 24-year veteran with the department,” fire officials said in a statement.
The 46-year-old Hager died Friday afternoon “after valiantly fighting COVID-19 for several weeks,” according to the statement.
COVID also hospitalized his wife, Amee, friends posted on a Go Fund Me fundraiser for their four children. Her condition was unknown on Saturday.
Hager joined the fire department on March 12, 1997, “and served the community until his death,” according to the statement. “We ask that you please keep family, friends and fire department members in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
Jeff and Amee Hager tested positive for COVID on Aug. 23, fellow firefighter Anjie Davis Blackmon posted on the Go Fund Me fundraiser she established to help the family.
Jeff Hager also served on the Huntersville Fire Department since 2013, according to Blackmon.
The couple was admitted to a hospital on Aug. 28. On Sept. 3, their conditions worsened, she said.
Family members are caring for the Hagers’ children — ages 14, 13, 7 and 6, she said.
“Amee is a fantastic stay-at-home mom, often assuming the role of both mother and father with Jeff’s work schedule,” Blackmon said.
“As a fellow firefighter, I know that if I were in need of help, Jeff would be there to help,” she said. “Right now Jeff, Amee and their children desperately need our help.”
The Huntersville Fire Department joined the effort, tweeting photos of the family and the link to the fundraiser.
Needing some prayers for one of our members & his family. A dedicated, beloved member & a VERY active public servant & his family. Not often we ask for help…we often avoid it. We’re the helpers. But we need your help today. #OneTownOneTeam #HagerStrong https://t.co/t9nQqaXiI2 pic.twitter.com/Mk1UroPoAt— Huntersville Fire (@Huntersville_FD) September 10, 2021
“Needing some prayers for one of our members & his family,” the firefighters tweeted. “A dedicated, beloved member & a VERY active public servant & his family. Not often we ask for help…we often avoid it. We’re the helpers. But we need your help today.”
Blackmon hoped to raise $10,000 for groceries, clothing and any other immediate need expenses for their children. She also hopes to devote part of the money to “maintaining their home for the day that they can all be rejoined as a family.”
By Saturday, 358 people had contributed a total of $38,000.