LODD: Tenn. fire chief died from COVID-19 after patient contact

Rocky Top Fire Chief Ronald "Ronnie" Gene Spitzer, 65, died last week after contracting the virus in December

Duty Death: Ronald "Ronnie" Gene Spitzer - [Rocky Top, Tennessee]

End of Service: 01/13/2021

By Laura French

ROCKY TOP, Tenn. — A Tennessee fire chief died from COVID-19 last week after being exposed to the virus during a December medical call. 

Rocky Top Fire Department Chief Ronald "Ronnie" Gene Spitzer, 65, responded to the call on Dec. 11 and treated a patient who was later determined to have COVID-19, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Both Spitzer and another firefighter who responded to the call contracted the virus. Spitzer died from the disease on Jan. 13.  

"Ronnie has been with the department since 2015, and has over 47 years of experience as a Firefighter," the Rocky Top Fire Department posted on Facebook Sunday. "Ronnie will be greatly missed by us all, and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family."

Spitzer is survived by his wife of 42 years, Sandy, and two children, Ronald Jr. and Ashley, according to his obituary


It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Rocky Top Fire Department's Fire Chief, Ronnie Spitzer. Ronnie has...

Posted by Rocky Top Fire Department on Saturday, January 16, 2021


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