GEAUGA COUNTY, Ohio - A three-year-old boy who touched the lives of his family, a local fire department and countless people who read about and were charmed by him passed away Saturday morning.
Dutch Cole's parents posted that their son went "home to be wild and free" in the arms of his mother and surrounded by "love from family."
Dutch was diagnosed with cancer back in February. One day, he and his family were getting ice cream when Hambden firefighters pulled up in their trucks.
It was a friendship of love formed immediately.
“We were pulling in and I saw him watching us,” said Capt. Dave Peterson. “He was so excited to see us. He came up to us, wanting to see the truck.”
Peterson, and firefighter Callahan Henderson let Dutch and his siblings sit in the truck. The family also got invited to stop at the station Friday.
The act of kindness meant so much to Dutch and his family.
On his 3rd birthday in July, the firefighters came to his party and named him an honorary firefighter. Dutch sprayed his dad with the fire hose as he got to sit in one of the trucks.
The Hambden Fire Department posted this touching tribute to their fellow "fighter."
Today we lost one of our own. Honorary Firefighter Dutch Cole lost his battle with cancer. Dutch came into our lives early this summer and quickly stole all of our hearts. Dutch was hands down the best "nozzle man" on our department! We will greatly miss spending time with little Dutch. Please keep the entire Cole family in your thoughts and prayers. Rest In Peace Honorary Firefighter Dutch Cole. We will take it from here....
Rest in peace, Dutch. We are all glad you are now healed, as your parents said.