Firefighters attend funeral for father, 3 children killed in fire

GREENWOOD CO., SC (WSPA) –Mourners gathered in Greenwood County on Friday to remember a father and his three children killed in a fire.

The fire in McCormick County happened Monday.

Hundreds came out to remember the lives of Nate, James, Missy and Jordan Raugh. The children were all younger than 4.

Firefighters at the Troy Volunteer Fire Station in Greenwood County were joined by their brothers and sisters from across South Carolina and beyond to show support for the Raugh family.

Troy firefighter Nate van Landingham says, “Whenever one of them falls or is hurt we all come to rally around them and the family to show our support.”

A fire ladder salute and the social media hash tag #JRaughOnDuty were some signs of support seen at the funeral for 4 year-old James Raugh, his two sisters, and dad.

van Landingham continues, “We know him. We know his kids. I, myself, have a son the same age as his son. So it really hits home and resonates with you.”

The tiny firefighter hat and gear adorning one of the trucks that came from miles away for the funeral were in honor of the little boy who dreamed of growing up to be just like his dad and uncle.

“It takes a special breed to do this…to be a firefighter. That was his dream and I think all of us just respect that and want to honor him in a way that we can,” says van Landingham.

Firefighters from as far away as Tennessee and Florida made their way to Greenwood County to form a line, honor, and protect the remaining family members who lost so much.

Some of the signs made by firefighters were for Friday’s funeral. There are others though that are meant to be a permanent reminder that the firefighting brotherhood and sisterhood knows no age limit.

“James has got a permanent sticker on Engine 11 and 10. So he’ll be riding with us for as long as we have these trucks and whoever rides these trucks after us.”

More than 50 trucks and other emergency vehicles were part of Friday’s funeral procession.
All of the firefighters thoughts are especially with Brittany Raugh who lost her husband and three children.

According to the obituary, Harley Funeral Home in Greenwood is taking memorials to help Brittany Raugh cover the expense of the funeral.

James Raugh’s uncle, T.J. Johnson, reached out to 7 News to express thanks and appreciation to all of the firefighters who traveled to Greenwood County for the family.

He says: “We appreciate all of the firefighters and first responders who attended and reached out more than they will ever know. James is smiling from heaven along with his dad and 2 little sisters.”