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Blissfield Township firefighter killed in crash while responding to call

34-year-old Blissfield Twp. firefighter Captain Joseph Gallo was responding to assist at a barn fire when he lost control of his vehicle. He died from his injuries.
Credit: Blissfield Township Fire Department
Blissfield Township Fire Capt. Joe Gallo died after sustaining injuries in a vehicle crash while responding in his personal vehicle to a structure fire in Deerfield Township on Tuesday. He is survived by his parents and one brother.

LENAWEE COUNTY, Mich. — A Blissfield Township firefighter was killed in a single-vehicle crash on Tuesday while responding to assist at a barn fire in Lenawee County.

Joseph Gallo, 34, of Blissfield, served as a captain with the Blissfield Twp. Fire Department. 

According to deputies with the Lenawee County Sheriff's Office, Gallo was driving a Chevy Impala with emergency lights activated, responding to a call to assist on a barn fire on Garno Road in Deerfield on Nov. 17.

While driving on the gravel portion of Garno Road, Gallo lost control of his vehicle, which rolled and came to rest in a field. Sherriff's deputies responded to the crash at around 4 p.m.

Gallo was transported to an area hospital and pronounced dead from injuries sustained in the crash. He was the only occupant of the vehicle and was not wearing a seatbelt. 

The Blissfield Fire Department released a statement on Wednesday, mourning the loss of Gallo: 

"It is with great sadness that Blissfield Township Fire Department and Madison Township Fire Department announce the passing of member Joseph (Joe) Gallo. 

"Gallo, serving as a Captain with Blissfield Township Fire Department, succumbed to injuries from a motor vehicle crash while responding in his personal vehicle to a structure fire in Deerfield Township on Tuesday, November 17, 2020. 

"Joe has been a member of Blissfield Fire Department since 2014 and was promoted to Captain in 2017. Joe spent his fire service career building a reputation as a dedicated and ambitious member. 'He was always "that guy," the one you knew you could count on,' says Blissfield Township Fire Chief Dale Fruchey.

"Joe was hired in October of 2018 by Madison Township Fire Chief Ryan Rank. He served as a Firefighter/EMT, regularly working at least two shifts every week. 'He had a passion for the fire service. He probably was one of the most passionate firefighters I've known in a long time," says Chief Rank. 

"Aside from working for both departments, in his free time Joe restored old fire trucks and was a member of the Michigan Antique Emergency Vehicle Club.

"Joe is survived by his parents and one brother.

"Funeral arrangements are pending and will be posted on the Facebook pages of both departments.

"Chief Fruchey, Chief Rank and the members of their departments ask that you please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers."

The Lenawee County Accident Investigation Team was called to the scene. The crash remains under investigation.

The Lenawee County Sheriff's Office was assisted at the scene by the Adrian Township Police Department and the Deerfield Fire Department.