A firefighter from Bartelso suffered fatal injuries Sunday night when he was hit by a fire truck at the scene of a clubhouse blaze, authorities said.
Timothy P. Jansen, 45, who had been a volunteer firefighter for about 15 years, was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Santa Fe Township Volunteer Fire Department Chief Adam Maue said Jansen was in the first truck that arrived at the scene, and began pulling off hoses.
"He slipped off and the truck struck him," Maue said. The firefighter who was driving the truck didn't know Jansen had fallen, and thought it was OK to move the truck, Maue said.
Fellow firefighters from the 22-man department tried to give aid to Jansen.
"Speechless. Everyone was so shook up," Maue said. "We just tried to hold ourselves together."
Paramedics arrived and transported Jansen to St. Joseph's Hospital in Breese, where he was pronounced dead. He died of injuries to his chest, abdomen and pelvic area.
Jansen used to manage the small town's bowling alley, but more recently owned its restaurant. His survivors include a wife and two young daughters. The names of his daughters were used to form the name of the restaurant: MacJenna's.
Fire officials went to Jansen's family Sunday night to inform them of his death.
"They're trying to hold together. They've got a big family," Maue said.
A chaplain from Memorial Hospital in Belleville came out to counsel firefighters.
"I'm waking up every hour in a cold sweat," Maue said. "It's a big tragedy. Everyone knew him and was real good friends with him."
MacJenna's is directly across Illinois 161 from the fire station, where a black cloth was draped across the entrance to the building Monday morning. A few townspeople dropped off food items for firefighters who were still gathered at the station.
The restaurant is a half-block away from Boondocks Market, where owner John McRoy said Bartelso residents are trying to cope with the tragedy.
"It's a big loss," McRoy said. "Everybody works together around here. It's a pretty tight community."
The fire was at the Jantzen's Resort area, between Bartelso and Carlyle. It was a brush fire that spread to the clubhouse.
Firefighters from neighboring communities were at the Santa Fe station Monday morning to support the Bartelso firefighters. Many Facebook users from the area posted an image of a firefighter's shield logo in black, with the name "Jansen" stripped through it in red.
At Bartelso Elementary School, counselors were brought in, and the annual Christmas program, scheduled for Tuesday night, was postponed.
"My thought was, Christmas is a joyful time, but the loss we're experiencing now is just not a time for celebration," said school superintendent R.Dane Gale.
Gale said the counselors would be at the school as long as needed.
"They're trying to help the students -- and the faculty members, too, for that matter -- who are struggling with what's transpired," Gale said.
Jansen's daughters are in the eighth and first grades at the school.
"These kids all know each other," Gale said. "We feel like we're all family. The first-graders, they're too young to really know what's going on, but the eighth-graders, that's where a lot of the difficulty's been."
Gale described the Jansen family as "just a pillar of our community. Words cannot express the loss. This is just a good family."
A funeral Mass for Jansen is 11:30 a.m. at St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Bartelso; burial will follow at St. Cecilia Cemetery in Bartelso.
Visitation is 3 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and 9 to 11:15 a.m. Thursday at the church. Memorials can be made to his children's education fund and will be received at the church or through Moss Funeral Home in Germantown, which is in charge of arrangements.
Contact reporter Brian Brueggemann at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2511.