TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - If there is someone who knows the challenges Toledo Fire Chief Louis Santiago is facing in the aftermath of two firefighters being killed in the line of duty, it's Oregon Police Chief Mike Navarre.
Nearly 7 years ago as Toledo Police Chief, Navarre had to lead the department in the aftermath of Detective Keith Dressel's death. Dressel was shot and killed in the line of duty on February 21, 2007. Navarre says that is a day he will not forget.
"When I got notified about the loss of the two firefighters, the events of that night came back to me just as vividly like it happened yesterday. What I remember so vividly was the fog, the dense fog out there in North Toledo. That night it was so surreal, it was almost like, 'is this really happening?" said Navarre.
Navarre says his thoughts and prayers are with Toledo Fire Chief Louis Santiago as he leads the department during this time of tragedy.
"Always looking out for the well being of the family of the deceased firefighters. I think that's important and foremost. He will rely on the support of his two families, his personal family and that was important to me. I had a lot of support from my wife, my children, and the family at work. When you lose somebody like that and you meet their family members for the very first time dealing with that tragedy, it's almost like they've been part of your family for your entire career," said Navarre.
Navarre says he sent Santiago a text message to extend his sympathy and offer any support he might need.
"You stay pretty busy for those first several days, maybe the first couple of weeks and when things slow down you stop and reflect and it really hits you," said Navarre.
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