Posted: Dec 7, 2011 5:56 PM by Stephanie Ryan
Updated: Dec 7, 2011 6:01 PM
WALKER-- You could feel the heart wrenching grief as Scott Osenenko's family and fellow firefighters said goodbye to him for the last time at Revival Temple Church in Walker.
You could hear the agony, too, as firefighters in white gloves and dress hats sounded the alarm on a bell in Osenenko's honor for the last time, and as "Amazing Grace" was played on the bagpipes. His teenage son accepted Osenenko's folded flag. His seven-year-old daughter sobbed aloud and clutched Osenenko's helmet as she held tightly onto the firefighter who handed it to her.
There were few dry eyes in the crowd that contained more than a hundred firefighters, some who knew Osenenko, and some who didn't.
"Firefighters-- when you hear the bagpipes, it brings the emotions," District Chief Frank Murry said. "These days are really hard... you never think it'll happen to you."
Osenenko lost his life Saturday at a fire in Livingston Parish after he helped save a family from a burning trailer. Murry said Osenenko cardiac arrest caused Osenenko to collapse outside the trailer shortly after he got out.
Friends remembered Osenenko as a giving man, one who was enthusiastic to join the fire department just months earlier.
"It was like a kid with a new toy-- his fire hat, boots, helmet," friend Bob Lee told News 2.
"I still remember the glee on his face, the joy he had when he told me he'd become a firefighter," another friend told the crowd.
Murry said Osenenko spent the night at the fire house just hours before he died to help answer calls, even though he was a volunteer and didn't have to. Friends said Osenenko was as passionate about laughing as he was everything else in life.
"If Scott was here right now, he'd probably be saying something just under his breath that was mildly inappropriate, just to get someone to smile, maybe get a case of the giggles to cut the tension," another friend said with a laugh.
Osenenko was taken to a funeral home in the same fire truck that took him to the fire he died in. He was escorted by fire trucks from around the state, the Patriot Guard, Louisiana State Police, East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office, Livingston Parish's helicopter, and a host of other departments.
Murry said Osenenko will be cremated.
He is the fourth firefighter to lose his life in the line of duty in Louisiana this year, but the first from his department.