Dozens of people showed up Thursday night at Silsbee Fire and Rescue to honor Assistant Chief Jay Hinkie.
Signature after signature, people from all over Hardin County paying tribute during a gathering.
“Its heart wrenching. There’s just no words for it. Jay was loved by so many for so long. He’s done so much for this community.”
Cindy Flowers is a volunteer firefighter at Saratoga Fire Rescue and came with the rest of the members of her department to spread support.
“No matter where you are. You’re in Sour Lake, Silsbee, you’re in Kountze, if you’re in Saratoga, all you gotta do is call the other members and we will come. That’s what we do. That’s why it’s a brotherhood.” She said.
Spouses of other first responders also attended the gathering on Thursday like Melinda Avery.
Avery told 12News she is heartbroken over Hinkie’s loss.
“He was that well loved. People loved Jay, I mean he helped the community.” Avery said.
Kountze Fire Department Deputy Chief, Barry Mitchael said the tragedy is one that will forever stay in the hearts of those whose job is to save the life of others.
“An on line duty death is something we talk about and we do training on, but you hope it never happens and I guess to one degree it’s always a wakeup call.” Mitchael said.
Members of the Kountze Fire Department will be cooking meals for the next couple of days to feed other firefighters as well as people in attendance at Hinkie’s funeral this weekend.