Off-Duty Firefighter Dies at Launch Fire

matthew-goodnatureFOURMILE LAKE, Ore. – An off-duty firefighter staged near the Launch Fire at Fourmile Lake died Tuesday night in what officials are calling accidental in nature.

According to Sgt. Darren Frank at the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, 21-year old Matthew David Goodnature, of Phoenix, Oregon was taking a walk away from his fire camp at about 6:30 p.m. when the accident happened.

Detective Nick Kennedy with the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the case, and said he cannot draw any conclusions until his investigation is done. However, it appears that Goodnature tripped on a large rock and fell backwards. Scruff marks and other traces indicated Goodnature fell on a log that struck him on the small of his back. Detective Kennedy said it appears he died of a broken back.

X-rays are being done and an autopsy will reveal exactly what happened later this week. Detective Kennedy was at the Launch Fire campsite Wednesday interviewing fellow firefighters and checking out the scene. Detective Kennedy said right now there is no evidence of foul play.

Goodnature worked for Pacific Oasis Wildland Firefighting out of Ashland. The Phoenix Police Department have notified next of kin.

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