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York Firefighter Killed in Building Collapse From Monroe County

He was part of the Polk Township Volunteer Fire Company

POLK TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - Two York, Pennsylvania firefighters died in the line of duty Thursday when the wall of a still-burning building collapsed on them. One of those firefighters grew up in Monroe County, and that's where he discovered his calling was to help others.

The Polk Township Volunteer Fire Company, where the flag is lowered to half staff, is in mourning. That is where Zachary Anthony of Kunkletown realized his dream was to be a firefighter.

"He had such a full-of-life attitude," says Cindy Haydt, Treasurer, Polk Township Volunteer Fire Company.

Zachary Anthony, 29, had big dreams. "To pursue his firefighter career, and eventually he wanted to be the chief of his own station," Haydt recalls.

Cindy Haydt is Treasurer of the Polk Township Volunteer Fire Company. She knew Anthony while he was a young member here. Then, he eventually joined the York City Fire Department.

She adds, "he just wanted to be able to give back to his community, and he pretty much did that."

On Thursday, Anthony was one of four firefighters putting out hotspots at the old Weaver Organ & Piano building. The structure suddenly collapsed while the firefighters were inside.

When Cindy learned Anthony was one of the men rushed to the hospital, she started praying.

"[Prayed] that all of those men and their families would have their loved ones," Haydt says through tears.

But Anthony and another member lost their battle.

"It was a very big shock, a very big shock to hear he hadn't made it," she explains.

Cindy says she will never forget the fresh-faced firefighter, full of dedication and heart.

She adds, "my heart goes out to the family and all the firefighters, EMS and public safety officers out there that put their lives on the line everyday, to be able to make it a better and safe place for us."

We're told Zachary Anthony's parents still live locally in Kunkletown. He would return to the area every summer to work with his dad at the West End Fair.

He graduated from Pleasant Valley High School in 2007.


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