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Lauren died a hero in service to his community

There is little that anyone can say that adequately addresses the horror of what happened late Friday night at K.I. Sawyer when a member of the Forsyth Township Volunteer Fire Department lost his life fighting a fire there.

Ben Lauren was just 23, a 2014 graduate of Gwinn High School and a third-generation firefighter. His father and sister are currently members of the same department.

What can only be described as a nightmare scenario began to unfold at about 9:27 Friday night when the fire in a duplex was reported, prompting a response from emergency personnel, including the Forsyth Township volunteer unit. A pair of residents were reportedly able to make good their escape from the structure.

The exact circumstances of Lauren’s death are unknown at this writing. Personnel from the Michigan State Police Fire Marshal and Marquette County Sheriff’s Office are investigating. Look for a complete report as both organizations are well staffed with professionals who are expert in their fields.

As those investigations unfold, the public tributes continue. Lauren is being recalled as a solid citizen who had a quick wit and intellect to match. We would echo those accolades and ruefully observe the obvious, that those who chose in these kinds of positions are often placed in life and death circumstances.

We salute Lauren for what he is, a hero who gave his life in service to his community.

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