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Area First Responders Welcome Home a Fallen Hero

IAEGER, W.Va. – A stunning tribute to fallen firefighter Russell Roberson was held in Iaeger yesterday evening, with area fire departments, EMS, Police, family and friends lined alongside the road to welcome their hero home.

Gov. Justice took time out of Monday’s address to discuss the tragic loss of Roberson over the weekend.

“Every single one of our firefighters and first responders are all of our heroes. They always run to the fire,” Gov. Justice said. “We know that this man is an absolute hero. We ask so much that you pause and pray for this wonderful man, a hero that we lost.”

Senator Joe Manchin also received news of the tragedy.

“Our brave firefighters and first responders put their lives on the line every day to keep West Virginia communities safe,” said Manchin. “Please join Gayle and I in praying for the family of Russell Roberson, who passed away over the weekend while selflessly serving his community.”

On Saturday evening, June 20, 2020, firefighters from the Iaeger Volunteer Fire Department, as well as several other departments, responded to the scene of a residential fire.  On Sunday, June 21, 2020, firefighters again responded to the same residence for a possible rekindle. While at the scene, Firefighter Russell K. Roberson evacuated a home owner from a second residence that had started to burn.  He became ill and while being transported to the hospital, passed away.  The cause of his death has not yet been determined.

The fire and incident are currently under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Russell Roberson’s obituary is below.

Russell Keith Roberson Jr., 42, of Grapevine, WV, answered his last alarm call to duty on June 20, 2020.  After rescuing a local person from his burning home, Russ became ill and passed away during the early morning hours of June 21, 2020 enroute to Welch Community Hospital.

Russ was born June 2, 1978 a son of Russell Keith Roberson and Patsy Ann Bryant Steele. He enjoyed working outdoors, cutting weeds and mowing.  Russ was an outstanding member of his community and had been a member of the Iaeger Volunteer Fire Department for 15 years. 
Russ was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Chief Andy Bryant and Agnes Bryant and his paternal grandparents, Russell and Elsie Roberson.
Those left to cherish his memory are his father, Russell Keith Roberson, Sr. of Avondale; his mother, Patsy Steele and husband Quincy of Horsecreek; his companion, Lois Ann Charley and her son, Kenneth Charley of the home; one brother, Patrick Roberson and wife Brittany of Bluewell; two sisters, Judy Roberson and Ronnie Hall of Long Pole, and Sue Edwards and Denis Pennington of Trinity, NC; seven nieces and nephews, Netosha, Timothy, Sara, Keisha, Shaelyn, Levi, and Dalton; one great nephew, Eli; special friends that he considered as his second parents, Kenny and Delores Charley of Grapevine; his sidekick and special friend, Robert Blankenship of Iaeger; and numerous friends and extended family.
Funeral services will be conducted Friday, June 26, 2020 at 12 o’clock with Reverend Raymond Rowe and Reverend Freddie Dawson officiating at the Iaeger Elementary School in Iaeger. Burial will follow in the Blevins Cemetery at Vance Hollow near Iaeger, WV.  Patrick Roberson, Timothy Edwards, and members of the Iaeger Volunteer Fire Department will serve as pallbearers. 
Friends may visit with the family Thursday, June 25, 2020 after 6 o’clock at the Iaeger Elementary School in Iaeger.

Fanning Funeral Home in Iaeger is assisting the family. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.fanningfuneralhomes.com