City of Poyen Mourns Fallen Firefighter

POYEN, AR -- The small town of Poyen, in Grant County, is mourning the loss of one of its own.  Sunday night, Captain Dennis Channell responded to an medical call, but he had an emergency of his own. Channell died of an apparent stroke.

"He was here for as long as anybody can remember us having a fire department," Fire Chaplin Mike Sullivan said.

"In a larger full-time department it hurts anyway, but when these are volunteers, when these are regular men who are just trying to make a difference, it's very difficult."

Assistant Fire Chief, Dennis Finley said, "Here at the fire department, he knew everything."

Chief Claude Hardin added, "Not only was he a good fireman, he was captain of our department, he's been on the department for over 20 years, but he's a close friend."

To honor the fallen captain, the city lowered its flag to half staff. 

"Oh it means a lot to him, he was one of them that probably came up with it," Finley said.

Channell was very active with the volunteer department he helped raise money the department's yellow engine. On Saturday at 10 a.m., that engine will lead the Captain's funeral procession.

As Channell is laid to rest, his fellow firefighters must find a way to keep going.

"We are going to have to pull together a lot," Finley said.

The Poyen Fire Department also lost a retired captain earlier this year. 

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