Bloomingdale firefighter, wife killed in Tennessee tornado - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Bloomingdale firefighter, wife killed in Tennessee tornado

(Source: Bloomingdale Fire) (Source: Bloomingdale Fire)

A Bloomingdale firefighter and his wife were killed overnight after a tornado hit the mobile home they were staying in in Ocoee, TN.

According to Bloomingdale Fire Chief Ferman Tyler, Mark Faulk, Jr. and his wife Saundra were staying in a mobile home in Ocoee when a tornado passed through between 2:30 a.m. and 3:30 a.m.

Faulk was an active member of the Bloomingdale Fire Department. 

Chief Tyler says Faulk became a firefighter as soon as he was old enough to do so, following in his father's footsteps, one of the original founding members of the department back in the 60's.

It's easy to see the shock and pain felt by those who knew Mark and his wife Saundra, still reeling from the news of their death.

"He loved the fire department, he loved what it represented. He loved to work with the neighbors and the kids,” said Bloomingdale City Council member, Ernest Grizzard.

A long-time family friend, Grizzard accompanied Bloomingdale's fire chief and a chaplain to tell Faulk's mother and sister what happened Wednesday morning.

“He'll be missed here. The fire department will miss him,” said Grizzard.

Faulk split his time between long-haul truck driving and continuing his firefighting service in his hometown.

"As much time as he could, when he could get off, he would be here. And he maintained his volunteer status,” said Chief Tyler. 

Chief Tyler says that effort went far beyond fighting fires. He says Faulk was a key participant in things like the annual Children's Christmas party hosted by the department.

"He had actually just talked to my wife last night about making sure to be here in time for our event that we have scheduled this Saturday. They were supposed to be leaving tomorrow to be back in time for that,” said Chief Tyler.

He says as hard as it may be, Faulk would want his firefighting family to keep moving.

"Just keep going forward. And I think that is the biggest thing we can do. Yes, it hurts right now, we all want to cry.”

Chief Tyler explained the overwhelming emotion comes from a tough past few weeks with the loss of two close friends and colleagues, former Southside Fire EMS Director and Assistant Chief Tim Genest, and firefighter Michael Curry, a former Bloomingdale volunteer.

We'll be sure to let you know when the department holds a memorial to remember Faulk and his wife.

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