Lexington County Fire Service, SC, firefighter Jeff Chavis, 22, died Thursday, July 12, of injuries he received fighting a house fire June 16.

Department spokesperson Brian Hood said Chavis, a four-year veteran Apparatus Operator, had been battling second and third degree burns over 50 percent of his body at The Burn Center, Doctors Hospital in Augusta.

The department had responded to a patio house fire that spread to a second structure prior to their arrival. Chavis was caught by falling debris in a garage area. He managed to crawl partially out of the area and was then pulled clear by a civilian and another firefighter, according to Hood.

Chavis was planning to marry fellow firefighter Christy Turner, 21. They grew up in the area and had been members of the explorer post. They joined the department as soon as they reached age 18.

Chavis is survived by his father Vaden and mother Linda who live in the community of Edmund. He has an older sister, Alicia.

"He was dedicated to the fire service. He lived and breathed the stuff," Hood said. "He went at it full force and was definitely the model public servant.

"Please tell your readers to keep the Lexington County Fire Service in their thoughts and prayers, along with the Chavis family," Hood said.

A Fireman's Funeral was held on Sunday July 15, 2001, at the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, located at 1100 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC 29201 at 2:00 PM. Graveside services will immediately follow at Southland Memorial Gardens on West Dunbar Road.