Family & friends cope with loss of Oak Grove Fire Chief

OAK GROVE (KATV)--Hearts are heavy in the Oak Grove community. Fire Chief Randy Pogue died Wednesday night, weeks after a car accident on February 2nd. His department pick-up slid on a patch of ice, while he was responding to another accident.

Chief Pogue was conscious and alert post impact, however, he went into ARDS (Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome) after reachingBaptist Medical Center in Little Rock.

After several weeks in the intensive care unit, it was last night his widow says when his heart just stopped.

"I promised I was going to stick right there, and make sure everything was ok and I did, but it still wasn't ok I don't know if I could have said anything different," said Veronica Villalobos-Pogue.

The last words she would say to her husband, Fire Chief Pogue, before he went under a medically induced coma after getting into an accident while on duty.

"Spent the last three weeks with him at the hospital, he would make progress then have complications," she added.

His office decorated with just a quarter of his lifetime achievements. Pogue, Oak Grove's Fire Chief since 2002, he was also a father, a grandfather and veteran.

"He'd ride me harder than some of the regular guys, just because for the fact that I was his son, he wasn't going to let me get away with anything, he wouldn't give me no slack he's actually the one who pushed me into fire services," said Pogue's son, Greg Pogue.

While friends and family cope with their loss, a harsh reality of hospital bills is what Pogue's family could soon face. This after a clerical error prevents them from claiming workmen's comp.

"Randy would copy and send emails of the bills, well the email address was an old address, it got sent to an old address and it just wasn't checked, the bill didn't get paid it was an accident," said Oak Grove Fire District's Board Chairman, Larry Whitaker.

"Teaching me responsibility, how to take care of myself, teaching me right and wrong, having faith in me...I loved him," added his son.

The Oak Grove Fire District's Board plans to help with medical bills. The family has also set up a donation fund in lieu of flowers.

The mailing address is as follows:

First Arkansas Bank and Trust

P.O. Box 827

Jacksonville, AR{} 72078

The donation account number is 67293932.