CLEVELAND — Days following the death of Cleveland firefighter Johnny Tetrick in the line of duty, Chief Anthony Luke spoke to us about the person and family behind the badge.
"Johnny Tetrick was the prototypical Norman Rockwell-type firefighter," Luke told reporters Tuesday. "Great guy. The center of his life was his three girls, his three beautiful daughters and his family."
High praise from Luke as the department continues to remember its fallen comrade.
Tetrick was killed by an alleged hit-and-run driver Saturday evening while responding to an accident on I-90, a call Luke says is more dangerous than one might think.
"The highway is a totally uncontrolled environment," Luke explained. "If the citizens would just take a minute and slow down, move over, it would go a long way to making sure every firefighter gets back to their families."
But now, Tetrick's families — both at home and at the firehouse — are grieving.
"We have been hurting pretty bad," Luke admitted. "These are the city servants who are showing up to their posts right now every day, but we've lost one of our family members."
Tetrick leaves behind three daughters, whom Luke had just seen at a funeral planning session over at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
"We joked over there that you just got 800 Dads that are going to annoy you to no end," he said of Tetrick's children. "She told me she has so many texts on her phone from people inviting them over for Thanksgiving Dinner, one of the daughters told me, so we're just doing everything we can to wrap our arms around them."
Calling hours will be on Friday, Nov. 25 at Willoughby Hills Friends Church from 1-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m., with funeral services taking place this Saturday at 11 a.m. at the FieldHouse in Downtown Cleveland. Tens of thousands of dollars have also been raised via a GoFundMe for his family.