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A Fitting Farewell

By Staff | Jun 24, 2009

The funeral procession for Christopher Thomas “Tommy” Cork is lead by a vehicle from the Hundred Volunteer Fire Department with a photo of their departed comrade in the front window. Two ladder trucks hold an American flag over State Route 7 to give Cork a fireman’s funeral. (Photos by Amy Witschey)

“Fireman Tommy Cork is in the Lord’s fire department now.”

Those were the words that came across fire pagers the morning of June 17 at the conclusion of the funeral for Christopher Thomas “Tommy” Cork, 20, of Wadestown.

Cork was an active member of the Wadestown Volunteer Fire Department and former member of the Hundred Volunteer Fire Department, so when he succumbed to injuries inflicted from a June 11 automobile accident, it seemed only fitting that he receive a fireman’s funeral.

Cork was in a single-car accident at about 7 p.m. on state Route 7 approximately one mile from his home near Wadestown. He reportedly lost control of the his prized Mustang GT, went left of center, hit a gravel pile, and the car flipped over. He suffered severe head trauma.

HVFD Deputy Chief Chip Goff and Assistant Chief Bert Anderson, along with Jack Wilson and John Miller from the WVFD planned the special honors.

It included a sight many have undoubtedly never seen-the hanging of an American flag from two ladder trucks over the route taken by the funeral procession from Tennant Funeral Home to Cunningham Memorial Gardens. As the cars passed by, firemen respectfully lined the route and then followed in the emergency response vehicles so familiar to Cork.

At the graveside, after some words from Evangelist Steve Stevens, Cork’s firefighting comrades offered some special remembrances. A bell was sounded three times, as is tradition, and the dispatchers called for Fireman Tommy Cork one last time.

Members of several fire department attended the funeral including ones from Wadestown, Hundred, Mannington, Farmington, Wileyville, Clinton District, Granville, Brookhaven, Folsom, Blacksville, and New Freeport, Pa.

“We’ve known Tommy ever since he was little,” noted Goff, saying the department wanted to give him a special service.

“He was very proud of the work he did-putting his life on the line for others,” noted Stevens in the service.

Cork became a junior firefighter as soon as allowable, at age 16. His father, William Dale Cork, is a lifetime member and past chief of the HVFD. His mother is Debra Ann Bartrug Cork.