TAYLOR — A firefighter who lost his battle with cancer got quite a sendoff by his fellow firefighters Thursday in Lackawanna County: a procession through Taylor.
Capt. Dennis Owens was only 39 when he died, leaving behind a wife, two kids and a family at the fire department.
A procession carried Captain Dennis Owens through some of the streets he traveled many times as a Taylor firefighter. This time the fire engines weren’t taking him to another fire, they were carrying him to burial.
Capt. Owens didn’t die fighting a fire. He died after fighting cancer, at only 39 years old, and his fellow firefighters say he deserved this send off.
“It’s a fitting tribute to send Dennis out this way. It’s an honor to honor him and his life, his sacrifices he gave to the company,” said Capt. John Tigue of the Taylor fire department.
Two ladder trucks formed an arch over Union Street, a flag waving in between them. The truck carried Owens’ casket passed underneath, passing by his firefighter friends, saluting the captain who gave many hours of service alongside them.
“Dennis was very dedicated to the Taylor Fire and Rescue Company. He gave a lot of time and he gave up a lot of family time. He has a 2 and a 4 year old. He gave up a lot of their time to be with them, too to help out the citizens of Taylor,” said Capt. Tigue.
For the last year, those two children and other loved ones watched as Capt. Owens tried to beat cancer.
“It wasn’t easy, it was just a long battle and being that he’s so young and leaving a wife and young children behind is the hardest part of everything,” said Raymond Mochan of the Taylor fire department.
“They we’ll be taken care of very well. Everyone looks out for everyone. We’re a brotherhood, a brotherhood and sisterhood.”
The engine carrying Capt. Owens made a final pass by Taylor’s fire halls where he will clearly be missed.
“This means a lot for all the guys in the department because Dennis was a member of the department for a long time and a friend a good person in the community.”