Pine Level Fire Morms Loss of Chief
PINE LEVEL – Pine Level Fire Chief George Crocker, 32, passed away Sunday morning.
Reports are that he had answered several calls with the Pine Level Fire Department of Johnston County in the days preceding his death.
Crocker was also a career Senior Firefighter with the Raleigh Fire Department, currently assigned to Engine Company 12 on Poole Road in the Second Battalion. He joined the Raleigh Fire Department in October of 2002.
Chief Crocker was transported Sunday afternoon to Chapel Hill for an autopsy. He was escorted by Raleigh Engine 12, Battalion Chief 2, a Pine Level Engine, and a Chief’s vehicle.
Raleigh Engine 14 and Rescue 14, along with Western Wake Fire Rescue took up positions along Interstate 40.
A Durham engine met the party in Durham County, and a Chapel Hill engine joined the procession in Orange County.
The Visitation will be at Johnston Community College Auditorium on Tuesday, June 24th from 1800-2100 hrs (6-9pm) off 70 Business.
The Funeral will be held at Johnston Community College Auditorium on Wednesday at 1400 hrs (2pm) off 70 Business.
Burial: Pine Level-Crocker Cemetery
Maps and Info
The Paul A. Johnston Auditorium is Located in Building D above, the Tart Building and has the capacity to hold over 1,000 people.
Pine Level Fire Chief George Crocker, 32, was found dead Sunday morning in his home in Archer Lodge.
“He was a very dedicated fire fighter,” said Johnston County Fire Marshal Matt Chestnut. “He had a true love for the fire service.”
In addition to being a volunteer with the Pine Level fire department, Crocker was also a career firefighter with the Raleigh Fire Department.
Chestnut said results from an autopsy were pending but that state officials are investigating to see if Crocker’s death would qualify as having been “in the line of duty” — that is within 24 hours of responding to a fire or some other incident. Crocker had responded to one structure fire about 12 p.m. Saturday in Selma and three EMS calls through Saturday night, Chestnut said.
Phillip McDaniel, Crocker’s best friend, said Crocker joined the Pine Level fire department in 1997. Crocker took over as Pine Level’s fire chief in October, 2007, when then-chief McDaniel moved on to become Selma’s fire chief.
But the close friends continued to see each other often, helping each other on mutual aid calls to fires or just hanging out.
“We would eat together, play together, ride motorcycles together,” McDaniel said.
Crocker, a 1994 graduate of North Johnston high school, previously worked in a Raleigh rock quarry and as a milk deliveryman in Micro, McDaniel said. Crocker then channeled his love for volunteer firefighting into a full-time job when he joined the Raleigh fire department in October, 2002.
He liked to “help people and also see some excitement,” McDaniel said.
A few years back, McDaniel said Crocker did experience some respiratory problems. He had trouble with his breathing for a few days after one fire.
But firefighting seemed to give back to him. In recent years, he found the love of his life — Star Webster, a Morrisville firefighter — through firefighting. The two got engaged.
Crocker was the son of Peggy Green Crocker of Pine Level and the late Charles Richard Crocker. He is survived by his fiancee; son, George E. Crocker, Jr. of Pine Level; daughters, Ashleigh Grace Smith and Ember Bailey Blackley; sister, Terry Puckett of Pine Level; and his half-brother, Richard Crocker of Clayton.
The family will receive friends at the Paul A. Johnston Auditorium Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the Paul A. Johnston Auditorium on the campus of Johnston Community College in Smithfield. Burial will follow in the Crocker Cemetery near Pine Level.
Memorial contributions may be made to the N.C. Fallen Firefighters Foundation, 2501 Blue Ridge Rd., Suite 150, Raleigh, N.C. 27607.