Volunteer firefighter remembered by department after dying overnight

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WEST KNOX, Ky. (WYMT) - Early Wednesday morning, volunteers with the West Knox Volunteer Fire Rescue learned they had lost one of their own. Ray Hollingsworth, a 13-year volunteer at the department lost his battle to liver cancer.

Volunteers at the department say this is incredibly tragic news, but many of those close to him were able to see him in his final hours.

"We got to go visit with him last night [Tuesday] for about an hour or so," said Darryl Baker, the department's chief. "We joked about things that had happened throughout the years and stuff, and just try to talk in general."

Baker says Hollingsworth was someone who would always help others and put in hours of hard work, but never wanted any of the credit or glory. He says Hollingsworth was an intricate part of the station.

"Ray means a lot he's on almost anything we do, so we're going to miss him a lot," said Baker.

Hollingsworth would drive and operate the trucks when other firefighters would run into the fire, he would make sure everything in the truck was working to keep them safe.

He did have one favorite truck though.

"Ray liked the red trucks, firetrucks are red, he was a grown kid," said Baker.

Pumper No. 3 is the only red truck left at the department, so it is only fitting that Ray has his last ride in it.

"We will be getting this truck ready to give him his last ride," said Baker.

Hollingsworth also received the "Firefighter of the Year" award at the department just a couple years ago.

Hollingsworth's funeral is Saturday at 2 p.m. at Vankirk-Grisell Funeral Home.

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