White Lake firefighter dies after falling from building in Bladen County

White Lake firefighter dies after falling from building in Bladen County
Updated: Oct. 8, 2019 at 3:45 PM EDT
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BLADEN COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - A White Lake firefighter was killed after falling from a building in Bladen County Tuesday morning.

Officials say Mildred Gray Williams, 37, of White Lake, died after she fell approximately 15 feet while working to replace the metal roofing of the Bladen County Water Rescue Building in White Lake.

Williams, who is a firefighter for the White Lake Fire Department, was pronounced dead at the scene. At the time of the accident, she was working for Young’s Construction, officials said.

The Occupational Safety and Health Division (OSHA) is investigating the accident, according to officials with the N.C. Department of Labor.

“This is such a tragic event for our community," said Sheriff Jim McVicker. “Because this is a work-related death, we are required to report this incident to the North Carolina Department of Labor for investigation which we have done."

Williams was escorted to the Cape Fear Valley – Bladen County Hospital by first responders from the area. Out of respect for Williams, two ladder trucks formed an arch over Mercer Mill Road with the American flag hanging beneath for the processional to pass through en-route to the hospital.

“This is just a shock to the Emergency Services Community," said Nathan Dowless, director of emergency services for Bladen County. “Gray was a firefighter and one of us. It’s tough when its one of our own, but we will work through this together."

The White Lake town board meeting was cancelled out of respect to the community. Firefighters shared dinner together to commemorate Williams. Tuesday night, at Colly Chapel church, firefighters came together to grieve over the sudden loss of their colleague.

Mayor Goldston Womble noted that the tragedy is “really difficult on our firefighters and water rescue personnel but it’s a difficult loss for our community too because she was a person who volunteered and gave her time freely to help others who were in need. She was well respected and well thought of for what she did and it will be a terrible loss for our community.”

Details about funeral services weren’t immediately available.

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