West Chester mourns death of veteran firefighter

West Chester Twp. firefighter Tim Burns died of cancer Wednesday.
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West Chester Twp. firefighter Tim Burns died of cancer Wednesday.

UPDATE, May 19:

Funeral arrangements have been made for longtime West Chester Twp. firefighter Tim Burns who died this week after a battle with cancer.

  • Visitation will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, May 22, at Springdale Church of the Nazarene, 11177 Springfield Pike.
  • Funeral service will take place at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 23, at Springdale Church of the Nazarene, 11177 Springfield Pike.

There will be a procession of fire apparatus to honor Firefighter Burns beginning at approximately 8:30 a.m. Tuesday from the Springdale Church of the Nazarene.

This closed procession honoring Tim will pass by his “home” station – West Chester 74 – on Beckett Road and West Chester Fire Headquarters on Cincinnati-Dayton Road.

The complete route will be made available Monday morning, according to the township.

INITIAL POST, May 18:

Longtime West Chester Twp. firefighter Tim Burns lost his battle with cancer Wednesday.

Burns died at around 8:45 p.m. at a local hospital, according to township spokeswoman Barb Wilson and Fire Chief Rick Prinz. He was 48.

Burns was a member of the West Chester Fire Department for 19 years and was also employed by several other departments during his 30-plus-year career.

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Prinz said he and Burns have been friends for 40 years, ever since they were in Cub Scouts together. Although Burns was diagnosed with terminal renal cancer two years ago, Prinz said his friend’s death was a little unexpected.

“Within the last couple months he has been in and out of the hospital several times,” Prinz told the Journal-News. “Almost three weeks ago he went into the hospital and he never came out. It did kind of happen suddenly because he was in the station walking, talking, joking, smiling and carrying on and the next day he went into the hospital and never came out.”

The chief said Burns loved nothing more than spending time with his wife, Vicki, and their twin sons, camping, traveling around the area and just being together.

Prinz said he and the whole department have lost a “very caring and compassionate” good friend.

“Tim is one of those guys who is truly a friend, he’s always that guy who has your back no matter what,” Prinz said. “He was a firefighter, he was one of those guys who took his job very seriously, very passionate about what he did as a firefighter.”

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Trustee Board President Mark Welch said Burns died “way too young.”

“He was a fine fireman, he served with honor,” Welch said. “He’ll be missed by not only his family but all of his team members on the fire department and all of the staff.”

Burns also was most recently employed by the village of Glendale Fire Department. His career in the fire service included time spent with Liberty, Springfield and Colerain townships as well as New Burlington and Springdale fire departments.

A fundraiser was already scheduled for Sunday at TopGolf and Prinz said the event will go on because that is what Burns would have wanted. It starts at 6 p.m. and Prinz said there will be raffles, an ax putt and other events to raise money for his family to help with medical bills. To register, visit www.burnsbattle.com.

A GoFundMe page for the Burns family has already raised more than $7,000.

Arrangements are being made for a funeral that will include a procession of fire apparatus, honor guards and other tributes.

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