A popular and well-liked Truro firefighter injured during a recent training accident has died.
Skyler Blackie, 29, passed away at the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax on Wednesday morning from his injuries after being removed from life support on Tuesday.
“I’m floored to be honest with you,” Truro Mayor Bill Mills said, Wednesday afternoon. “It certainly sent shock waves through the whole community and the fire community.”
Blackie, a career firefighter who worked full time with the Truro Fire Service, suffered brain damage when a fire extinguisher exploded in his face during a training session March 9 in Waverley.
“It is with heavy hearts and sadness that we acknowledge the passing of our brother, Career Firefighter Skyler Blackie,” the Truro Volunteer Fire Brigade posted on its website. “Our hearts go out to his wife and the rest of the Blackie family during this difficult time.”
Mills, who spoke by telephone after a speaking engagement in Fall River on Wednesday, said he was overwhelmed with condolences by people at the event as well as by comments that were flooding in on social media.
Blackie had got married in the summer of 2017 and Mills described his death as “just heartache after heartache.”
“He was a nice man, he always had a smile,” Mills said. “A great loss, … very tragic.”
Mills said Blackie’s funeral will be held in Truro next week but details were still being arranged.
“So, next week is going to be a tough one,” he said.
In a later news release issued by the town, Blackie was described as “a young, outgoing, charismatic man who will be missed deeply by his wife, his family, his family of fire fighters, his friends and co-workers.”
The release said Blackie was “rarely seen without a smile on his face and truly loved his career.”
And Mills said council and staff as well as the town’s citizens “have lost a valued member of our family.”
“It goes without saying that we are grieved for Skyler’s wife Erin and his family,” Mills said. “We offer our deepest heartfelt condolences to the Blackie family and his other family at the Truro Fire Service.”
Condolences were also shared by numerous other fire departments and individuals on social media throughout Wednesday.
“Skyler RIP and Thank you for your service,” one person wrote. “My deepest condolences to his brothers and sisters in service and to his family and friends.”