A Jessamine County fire chief and firefighter who lost their lives in an accident were honored Wednesday with a bell ringing at the Jessamine County Courthouse, and will be honored again Saturday at a remembrance ceremony.
Wednesday was the 20th anniversary of the accident in which Fire Chief Mike Wheeler, 37, and firefighter Cecil Allan Fain, 27, were killed. At least 20 people crowded into the courtroom hall as Wheeler’s widow, Brenda Wheeler, and son, Gerald Wheeler, and Fain’s mother, Ruth Ann Fain, and brother, Doug Fain, each rang the bell 10 times.
Afterward, many of the family members who gathered for the occasion cried as they hugged each other.
A remembrance ceremony for the two men, which will be held Saturday, will feature speeches by family members about the servicemen’s lives, said Doug Fain. A remembrance walk will precede the ceremony, beginning at 2 p.m. at the old county fire station on Oak Street and ending at the new fire station on South Main Street, where the ceremony will begin at 3 p.m.
The firefighters were killed when their fire truck overturned Jan. 2, 1993, as they were returning from a structure fire. The truck struck a tree, killing both instantly.