ATWATER, Ohio — The Atwater Fire Department is mourning the loss of Fire Chief Mel Russell, who died Friday at the station.
Russell, 61, had been battling cancer but died after suffering an apparent heart attack at the fire station Friday, according to authorities.
The Stark Fire Department Rehab Unit shared kind words about Russell on Facebook.
“Mel was a great man, friend, and Chief. His dedication to his department, his community and to the fire service was second to none. Mel was always there for his community and his firefighters when needed, and then some. He was such a great pleasure to work with on calls and a great supporter of the FDRU. Mel deeply cared for his community and his firefighters and was always willing to help anyone in need at the drop of a hat. Mel and his kind-heartedness will be greatly missed by myself and all who knew him,” Stark FDRU wrote.
The Atwater Firefighters Association also posted heartfelt words in remembrance of Russell.
“Our prayers are with the family and friends of Chief Mel Russell along with the community. It has been an honor to serve with you in the County as a department and brother. God bless our friend and Brother. Rest easy now, we got it from here,” they wrote.
Russell had served for 26 years with the Atwater Fire Department.