A burning home near Bethalto partially collapsed while firefighters were inside on Tuesday, killing a Godfrey fire captain and injuring three other firefighters.
Capt. Jacob "Jake" Ringering of the Godfrey Fire Protection District died from his injuries after being transported to a hospital. He was 37 years old.
Ringering comes from a firefighting family. His father was a longtime fire chief in East Alton. His maternal grandfather retired as a fire captain with the East Alton department, where a young Jake Ringering got his career start.
East Alton's fire chief, Rodney Palmer, told the Post-Dispatch: "I've known Jake since he was a kid. He's just a great all-around man. Great upbringing."
Palmer said Jake Ringering was "a heck of a firefighter, very well trained. He was an instructor himself. He was aggressive. He went in there and got the job done. It's really a shock, the whole thing."