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Butler Co. family grieving loss of 35-year-old firefighter who died from COVID-19

SAXONBURG, Pa. — A Butler County family is mourning the loss of a young man and local firefighter who died following a tough battle with COVID-19.

Corey Becker, 35, grew up in Saxonburg and spent several years as a member of the volunteer fire company there.

“He was a guy that would go out and help anybody do anything,” his mom, Terry Becker, told Channel 11.

Their family was first impacted by the pandemic this past May, when Corey was laid off from his job. He quickly found new employment, however, and uprooted to Utah.

There it took only months before he came down with symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19. His symptoms were initially mild but quickly progressed, and he ended up in the hospital.

For weeks, the family endured a painful and emotional rollercoaster.

Terry said the hospital staff called her frequently to provide updates. By the end of October, Corey’s condition had rapidly declined.

Considering restrictions, his family had no choice but to say farewell over the phone.

“That was the hardest thing I had to do,” Terry said through tears. “We told him we would be OK, and that he wouldn’t suffer anymore.”

Corey passed away a young man, beloved son, brother and uncle. He had no known underlying conditions.

“I compare it to a tornado,” Terry said. “Why does a tornado hit one house and level the next? In the same neighborhood? Why does COVID hit one person so badly and another person just has a few days of flu-like symptoms?”

She and her husband embarked on the long journey to Utah to collect Corey’s ashes and his belongings. The support they were met with from the folks there has warmed their hearts.

At home, too, Terry said the outpouring of love has been overwhelming. The Saxonburg Fire Company launched an online fundraiser for the family. You can find that here.

Terry said she hopes people will take COVID-19 seriously, and wear a mask when recommended.

“People think ‘if I get it, I get it. I’ll get through it.’ Well, maybe that’s what my son thought too,” she said.

You can watch the full interview with the victim’s family in the video below.