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Community shows support for fallen fire Chief Clay Shidler

It didn't matter if the weather was raining or sunny Saturday, people from all over came to show their support for this local hero who lost his life. It was a day that was not only difficult for his family, but also those who worked with him in the fire department.

Posted: Jul. 21, 2018 9:54 PM
Updated: Jul. 22, 2018 11:06 AM

HYMERA, Ind. (WTHI)- It didn't matter if the weather was raining or sunny Saturday, people from all over came to show their support for this local hero who lost his life.

Fire Chief Clay Shidler was a firefighter for thirty-one years. He sadly lost his life early this week in a vehicle accident.

Saturday was Shidlers last visitation and funeral. It was a day that was not only difficult for his family, but also those who worked with him in the fire department.

"One of the officers called my cell phone to inform me that he had passed and I felt like someone had hit me in the stomach and took my breath," said Chief John Quilliam of the Thunderbird Fire Protection Territory.

Support wasn't just seen in the chapel of the church. People from all over the county lined U.S. 41 to show support for Shidler. Many wishing to see this local hero pass under the garrison flag hanging over the road.

Others wanted to show their support in another way. Like Phillip Barish who rode his motorcycle in the procession.

"He was a huge impact on the community. Everybody knew him. He was a great guy. Never had anything bad said about him. He was always helping out everybody and taking care of the community," said Barish.

Though Shidlers journey has come to an end. The outcry of community support shows his legacy will live on. One that will not just live on a firefighter, but as a friend.

"He was just a really good friend,” said Quilliam. “He's going to be missed."

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