GODFREY, Ill. – Fire departments from across the St. Louis area are staffing the Godfrey Fire Protection District’s firehouses while the department prepares to honor the life of a fallen fire captain and help an injured firefighter heal.
Captain Jake Ringering died Tuesday night from injuries suffered while battling a house fire earlier that afternoon. He was 37. Ringering is survived by a wife and three children.
“He really dedicated himself to the service. He dedicated himself to training other people as well and it’s going to be a huge loss to his community and the fire service in general,” said Edwardsville Fire Chief Rick Welle.
Ringering was well-known in the Metro East for his dedication.
“We want all of our thoughts and prayers to go to the family and the Godfrey community and certainly for the Godfrey Fire Department,” Welle said.
Firefighters from Lake St. Louis and Edwardsville were staffing the two Godfrey firehouses on Thursday night. Various departments will provide 12-hour shifts through the funeral service. The details of the services honoring Ringering were released on Thursday.
The Godfrey Fire Protection District has set up two funds at Carrollton Bank for donations.
“Benefitting the Luke Warner Family” is a fund for injured firefighter Luke Warner. “Benefiting the Jake Ringering Family” is a fund for fallen Captain Jake Ringering. Donations can be mailed or dropped off at Carrollton Bank, 120 Homer Adams Parkway, in Alton.
The operators of the Godfrey Meat Market said many customers have been ordering food to those supporting the family and the department’s firefighters.
“I feel like the family has a lot of support,” said employee Mathias Copple.
The market operators hope the support continues for a long time and plan to offer support of their own once the initial wave of help is over.
Chief Welle promises support from fellow firefighters will not disappear.
“Anytime there’s a line of duty death in the fire service, the entire fire service community comes together,” he said.