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S.C. lieutenant dies after ‘hard fought battle’ with COVID-19

The Gaffney City Fire Department announced the death of 19-year member Lt. Gary Burris


Karina Mazhukhina
The Charlotte Observer

GAFFNEY, S.C. — A South Carolina fire lieutenant died after “a hard fought battle” with COVID-19, according to the Gaffney City Fire Department.

Lt. Gary Burris had been with the department for nearly 19 years before he died, local officials wrote Tuesday on Facebook.

“It’s with a heavy heart that we have to announce that we lost one of our family members,” the Gaffney City Fire Department said. “Our hearts are broken as Lt. Burris was a vital part of our organization.”

Burris is survived by his wife and 11-year-old daughter, according to the fire department.

“No words on this post can accurately relay his passion and love for the job and for those he served,” the department wrote. “He had a true passion for training both new and seasoned members of our fire service.”

“We love you buddy, we’ve got it from here,” the department added.

On Monday, a 51-year-old fire chief from North Carolina died after “a brief battle with COVID-19.” Division chief Mark Covil with Pender County EMS and Fire died at New Hanover Regional Medical Center, according to his obituary.

At least 600,360 people have tested positive for the coronavirus and 9,361 have died in South Carolina since March 2020, according to state health officials.

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