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Incident Name: Unknown
Date: 03/05/06, 1720 hrs
Personnel: Wayne Edward “Butch” Yarborough
Age: 59
Agency/Organization: Waynesville Fire Department
Position: Volunteer, Lieutenant

Summary: Lieutenant Yarborough and the members of his fire department responded to a small grass fire behind an apartment complex. The fire appeared to be a controlled burn that was left unattended. The fire was extinguished with a 1-1/2-inch handline. The total burned area was approximately 100 square feet. Lieutenant Yarborough assisted with extinguishment of the fire and helped to repack the hoseline back onto the apparatus. After the apparatus returned to the fire station, Lieutenant Yarborough returned to his home.

Shortly after eating dinner, Lieutenant Yarborough collapsed. Family members called 9-1-1. Arriving responders provided CPR and Lieutenant Yarborough was transported to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. The cause of death was listed as hypertensive atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

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  • Firefighter Collapses, Dies After Fighting Brush Fire

    3/7/2007 | Article (pdf of article formerly online)

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From Wells Funeral Home: Link to Online Article

Waynesville—Pastor Wayne “Butch” Yarborough, age 59, went to be with the Lord on March 5, 2006, two days before his 60th birthday, while serving in the line of duty with the Waynesville Fire Department.

He was a native and life long resident of Haywood County. He was an avid deer hunter and fisherman. He loved the outdoors and spending time planting and babying his garden with his brother and best friend, John. He also loved spending time with his family, especially his beloved granddaughter, Stephanie, and teaching her things that he loved doing as a child, especially teaching her about a relationship with God. He also loved collecting antiques and guns.

Butch was a 38-year veteran of the Waynesville Fire Department and spent a large portion of those years as Lieutenant and chaplain and almost lost his life on April 22, 1982 in the Benfield plant fire. He was a Class 4 linesman, assistant supervisor, and interim supervisor of the electric department for the town of Waynesville. He was looking forward to retiring this year after 25 years of service.

Butch was the pastor of the Narrow Road Free Methodist Church for the past four years, which was formally known as the Waynesville Free Methodist Church. He attended there for 55 years and served as Sunday-school teacher and Sunday-school superintendent. Butch was a US Army veteran. He began his basic training at Fort Jackson, SC and transferred to Fort Sill, OK for advanced training before he was transferred to Munich Germany for 18 months and was discharged honorably as a Private First-Class.

Butch is survived by his parents, Robert and Laura Bell Parris Yarborough of Waynesville; his wife of 37 years, Patsy Kathleen Nelon Yarborough; a daughter, Beverly Fisher, of Waynesville; one son, Dwayne Yarborough, of the home; granddaughter, Stephanie Fisher; two brothers, Willard Yarborough, and wife, Elaine, of Kings Mountain, John Yarborough and wife, Effie, of Waynesville; a sister, Nancy Yarborough of Waynesville; a number of nieces, nephews, and cousins; many friends and hunting buddies; and a little special friend, Princess.

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 11, 2006 at First Methodist Church of Waynesville with Reverend Charles Magnet, Reverend Daryl Hannah and Reverend Anthony Green officiating. His body will be transported on Engine No. 1502 to Green Hill Cemetery where he will be laid to rest. He will receive a full honorary fireman’s service by the Buncombe County Firefighters Honor Guard and military graveside rights conducted by the Buncombe County Veterans Council Memorial Team. The family will receive friends from 6:00 until 9:00 p.m. on Friday, March 10 at Wells Funeral Home of Waynesville, and at other times, the family will be at the residence. Serving as pallbearers will be the firemen of the Waynesville Fire Department. Honorary pallbearers will be his fellow firemen and coworkers of the Town of Waynesville Electric Department.

Memorials may be made to the Stephanie Fisher Education Fund, c/o United Community Bank, 165 N. Main Street, Waynesville, NC 28786.

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