Gow collapsed at Wednesday night's house fire at 139 College Avenue. He later died at the hospital. Gow first joined Factoryville Fire Company in 1971 as a teen-aged junior firefighter. Throughout his tenure, he even served as chief. Firefighters who continued to serve alongside Gow looked to him for training and leadership. "I went through firefighter one and I don't think I could do it without him and then I went through firefighter two and again he was there for me," said Factoryville Fire Company Firefighter Bridget White. She left a red carnation and the firefighter's prayer on the windshield of Gow's pickup truck where it remained Thursday morning where Gow left it. She says to lose Gow is a great blow. "As firefighters it's just not Factoryville. It's the whole entire firefighting community. We are all brothers and sisters so it is a huge loss."
Russ Gow's death is the second suffered by Factoryville Fire Company this year. It comes just months after another dedicated volunteer firefighter was killed in a freak accident. JJ Lomax was electrocuted in June while helping at the scene of a car crash. Lomax's nephew Cory Brower, who's a junior firefighter with Factoryville Fire Company, is dealing with devastation again. "Oh, it tears us. It hurts," said the Factoryville teen. Firefighters say Lomax and now Gow can never really be replaced. "Especially the two that we lost. They were... they were unbelievable people," said Mr. Shaw.