BLOOMINGDALE, Ga. – Black fabric is draped across a badge mantled on the front wall of the Bloomingdale Fire Department to honor volunteer firefighter Mark Faulk.
“It’s been hell,” Ferman Tyler, the Bloomingdale Fire Chief, said.”
He and his wife, Saundra, were killed early Wednesday morning from a tornado that struck their home in Polk County Tennessee.
The couple had recently moved there and Faulk would drive back every once in a while to keep his volunteer status with the department.
“The last structure fire we had a couple weeks ago he participated in, and then he had actually just talked to my wife last night about making sure to be here for a children’s event that we do annually that’s scheduled for this Saturday,” Tyler said.
Tyler told News 3’s Devin Negrete that Saundra’s mother contacted him to share the tragic news.
“I was like wow,” Tyler said. “I don’t know if I could’ve done it.”
News he and several others passed on to his mother and sister who still live in Bloomingdale.
“It’s was heartbreaking, but it’s part of what he have to do,” Tyler said
Once word got out it spread through Bloomingdale and surrounding towns with everyone offering support.
Flags fly at half-staff throughout the town to honor Faulk and his nearly life-long voluntary career with the department.
“We’ve been receiving condolences and thoughts and prayers from all over the area and beyond Bloomingdale,” Tyler said. “It has really drawn us closer.”
A man that will live in their hearts forever.
“Mark grew up here in Bloomingdale,” Tyler said. “He has been here all his life, been a member of the fire department since he was little because his father was one of the founding members from my understanding.”
Faulk’s mother and mother-in-law are still working to figure out arrangements since this was so sudden.
However, Tyler says they will have a memorial service soon.
“It’s a tight knit community,” Tyler said. “Just about everybody knows everybody, so it’s hitting hard and like I said with word spreading around it’s beginning more and more to hit home.”