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Young Franklin firefighter dies in tragic off-duty accident, fire department says

By BRITTANY WHITEHEAD

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    MACON COUNTY, North Carolina (WLOS) — larks Chapel Fire-Rescue, located in Franklin, said one of its youngest firefighters tragically died Saturday, July 23 in an off-duty accident.

According to the fire department’s post on Facebook Sunday afternoon, July 24, Firefighter Joseph Orr was killed in an accident in Macon County “while enjoying the great outdoors that he loved.”

Orr was 25 years old.

Clarks Chapel Fire-Rescue Fire Chief Trae Perry responded Sunday evening to News 13 in an email:

“From my understanding, Joseph was at a hiking area/waterfall and was rescued from the water by bystanders. I don’t know the exact details, or what exactly happened. If I’m not mistaken, the incident is still under investigation, so I, unfortunately, don’t have any other information at this time.” The Facebook post said Orr was new to the fire service, but his dedication and eagerness to learn was one of the qualities that stood out most about him to his fire and rescue family.

“Joseph was relatively new to the fire service but the dedication and passion he showed to community service far surpassed his time in the service. Joseph was eager to learn, and always there to help with any and all challenges,” the Facebook post read. “Joseph was a good friend and brother to all of us. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. We ask that you keep Joseph’s family in your prayers through this difficult time. We will post updates as they become available.” News 13 has reached out to officials and is working to learn more.

There was also a separate accident reported Saturday of a man falling near Looking Glass Falls in Transylvania County. He fell about 20 feet into shallow water from a ledge near the side of the falls and was airlifted to Mission Hospital with possible life-threatening injuries.

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