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Fallen firefighter helps fire academy student

Fallen firefighter helps fire academy student

Silsbee's Assistant Fire Chief Jay Hinkie died while on the job Tuesday.

Fire academy student Hunter Walston says Hinkie gave him fire gear just one day before his death.

"That was crazy that really was it was crazy," Walston said.

Hinkie worked as a volunteer firefighter for more than 20 years and supported Walston's idea of becoming a firefighter.

Walston says he's thankful to have the gear.

"It's some pretty expensive stuff it's like $800 to rent it," he said.

Now Walston is prepared to join the academy and his goal is to be a devoted firefighter like Jay Hinkie.

"I can only hope to do that. He loved his job. He loved helping people," he said.

Hinkie was a family friend to Walston, and now he thinks of him as a hero.

"Everytime I put that gear on I'll think of him. He's my role model now," Walston said.

Walston will start at the LIT Fire Academy in late August.

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