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Longtime Colfax Fire Chief dies from a heart attack while responding to Saturday wildfire

Colfax Fire confirms the call was Jim Krouse's 4th call of the day.
Credit: KREM

Longtime Colfax Fire Chief Jim Krouse, who previously served as Colfax Fire Chief for 40 years, died on Saturday afternoon from an apparent heart attack while responding to a wildfire.

Colfax Fire Department confirmed that Krouse responded to a wildfire on Green Hollow Road around 3:00 pm on Saturday. That was his 4th call of the day when he collapsed while pulling a hose, according to Colfax Fire Department.

Krouse was taken to Whitman Medical Center in Colfax, where physicians were unable to revive him.

Colfax City was aided in the wildfire call by firefighters around the Palouse, including District 12, District 11, Steptoe, Albion, Palouse, and other rural departments.

Assistant Chief Craig Corbeill says crews were ultimately able to extinguish the fire, but the cause is still under investigation.

Afterward, crews participating on the fire gathered at Whitman Medical Center to honor Krouse with a procession to the Bruning Funeral Home.

Chief Michael Chapman announced there will be a critical incident debriefing for those on the scene and those who served with Krouse during his overall 52 years of service.

Corbeill described Krouse as "a kid in a candy store" while he was making his fourth run on Saturday, driving a water tender to the Green Hollow Road fire.

Krouse served as Colfax Chief from 1972 to 2010, following his father Earl, who was the chief prior.

Arrangements for Chief Krouse are pending at the Bruning Funeral Home in Colfax.