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Calcutta firefighters mourn the loss of two of their own

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CALCUTTA, Ohio - As the Ohio State Highway Patrol continues it's investigation in to that triple fatal crash in Columbiana County, firefighters mourn the loss of two of their own.

The uniforms of volunteer firefighters Jamie Nign and his wife Meghann Nign are now part of a makeshift memorial at the Calcutta Fire Department.

It serves as a tribute to the couple who lost their lives, along with family friend 11-year-old Addisyn Benzel, when a Jeep Cherokee went left-of-center, crashing head-on into the Chevrolet Equinox they were riding in.

Calcutta Fire Chief Scott Smith tells 21 News, "It's just very tough. I got the call to come over to our dispatch, and then they notified me, and then in turn I had to notify all my guys. We actually brought them all to the fire station and then from there we briefed everyone and we all just spent the afternoon here talking and reminiscing. We just let it sink in, very, very tough."

The fire chief says the firefighters' boots will be impossible to fill.

"Great people. Meghann just always wanted to help. If we had a Christmas dinner, if we had a fundraiser, she was always right there helping and getting things together. Jamie, you know, he was always around to help to. Great guy, fund to be around," Chief Smith said.

Both Jaime and Meghann volunteered for Calcutta fire for two years.

Meghann was also a full-time EMT for Northstar and first began fighting fires for the Glenmoor Fire Department in St. Clair Township.

What makes this heartbreaking story even more tragic, Meghann's sister died the same way.

Neal Bean is the President of the Glenmoor Fire Department, "I couldn't believe it. Her sister had died just probably a year and a half ago from pretty much the same thing. So it was like I went numb."

The emergency responders are working through their pain by finding a way to help the children the couple left behind.

On January 24th, the Fire Street Grill located at 1577 Penn Avenue in East Liverpool will hold a fundraising dinner with all proceeds benefiting the family. Scott Cox who owns the restaurant is a close friend and fellow firefighter.

"Everything happened so quick. The family's going to need it right now, so we just decided well let's hurry up and do this. We're family," Cox said.

Firefighter Bean from Glenmoor Fire Department agrees saying, "Their family is our family, so when something like this happens, they have us for the months and years to come whatever they need. The kids will always have us. They don't only have the Calcutta Fire Department, they have Glenmoor Fire Department to, they have two groups of guys looking after them."

Calcutta Fire Chief Smith says they are so thankful for the overwhelming community support.

A legal trust fund that will be managed by an attorney will be set up at Chase Bank for the couple's children. Once it's established in the next day or so, details will be posted on the Calcutta Fire Department's Facebook page, and on www.wfmj.com.

If you would like to attend the fundraising dinner to benefit the couple's children, it will be held at the Fire Street Grille at 1577 Penn Avenue in East Liverpool on Friday, January 24th, from 11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. The cost is $8.99 for steak, salad and macaroni and cheese. A spaghetti dinner is also available for anyone who does not eat meat. 

One hundred percent of the proceeds raised from the dinner will go to the Nign Family.

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