Fellow firefighters mourn worker who died at TimkenSteel

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CANTON, Ohio-- Final arrangements have been made for the TimkenSteel employee who died on Sunday.

Kenny Ray

Kenny Ray

Kenny Ray Jr., 32, was found dead in a control area at the Faircrest Plant of TimkenSteel in Canton. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Heath Administration said exposure to nitrogen likely contributed to his death.

Ray, who worked as a fire technician, had been a firefighter/EMT with the Uniontown Fire Department for 11 years.

The department said in a statement, "Kenny would be one of the first people to take the new recruits under his wing under his wing to share his knowledge and his experience."

Flags were at half staff and a tribute was on the front sign at the Atwater Fire Department, where Ray worked since 2004.

"I think we're all just in shock right now, a tremendous loss," Chief Mel Russell said. "Such a tragedy. Miss him greatly already. He was a great guy. Just can't say enough good about him."

His colleagues met at the station Sunday night upon hearing of Ray's death and draped a flag over his locker.

"We just felt like it was something we needed to do for our fallen brother," Captain Paula Baughman said. "Kenny was very full of life... Just always so full of energy. He was almost infectious to be around. People wanted to be around him and the knowledge he brought here was just phenomenal, we just got along from day one, like he was his family."

His wife, Itsy Ray, released the following statement Monday afternoon:

"The Ray family is deeply saddened by the loss of our beloved Kenny, he will be truly missed.  Please keep our family and friends in your prayers in our time of mourning. The family at this time would like privacy so that we can be with our loved ones."

Last month, he started working as a part-time police officer for the Creston Police Department.

Funeral services for Ray will be Saturday at the Maranatha Bible Church on Killian Road in Akron. Calling hours will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Firefighters will perform a last alarm ceremony at 1 p.m.

Continuing coverage here

TimkenSteel Faircrest