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Lynchburg firefighting community mourning one of its own

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FOREST (WSLS10) - The Brookville-Timberlake Volunteer Fire Department lowered its flag for firefighter Zane "Zippy" Robertson who died Monday after a sudden illness.

Early Tuesday morning, firefighters and community members paraded the volunteer firefighter home.

"Over 100 people sat on the side of the road for about an hour in 30 degree weather waiting on the transport unit so, we could lead our brother home," said Brookville-Timberlake Deputy Chief Jason Tanner. "I think that speaks volumes as to what kind of man and person Zane was."

The brotherhood at the Brookville-Timberlake Volunteer Fire Department is stunned. Robertson served the department for 11-years and died after checking into the hospital Friday.

"I saw him Thursday evening and we had a really short conversation," said Volunteer Fire Chief Jerry Womack. "I never had any idea that it would be the last time I got to speak to him."

"He went from a happy, healthy man to unfortunately being decreased in about four days," said Tanner.

Womack said Zippy had flu-like symptoms, but doctors don't know what actually caused his sudden death. He leaves behind his family and two young kids.

Cards and flowers now mark the station's driveway to remember Zippy. Womack said he was well-liked and his hard work showed.

"He stepped in a lot of positions and was a super guy to be around," commented Womack.

Zippy's visitation will be held Friday, April 8 from 5-7 p.m. at Timberlake United Methodist Church. The funeral will follow Saturday at 11 a.m., also at the church. The public is invited to attend.

The fire department will be collecting donations for Zippy's family to help offset medical expenses and create a trust fund for his two children.