USFA: North Carolina On-Duty Death

Chief Woodard contracted COVID-19 during a smoke investigation.

Chief Woodard contracted COVID-19 during a smoke investigation

United States Fire Administration

The U.S. Fire Administration has announced the official on-duty death of Chief Darrell Woodard, 66, of the Savannah Volunteer Fire Department on December 29, 2020.

On Thursday, December 3, 2020, Chief Darrell Woodard responded to a call for a smell of smoke in a building. All four firefighters, including Chief Woodard, that responded to this incident, tested positive for COVID-19. Chief Woodard passed away from the virus on Tuesday, December 29, 2020.

Tribute is being paid to Chief Woodard at

To date, 92 firefighter fatalities have been reported to USFA in 2020. Year-to-date and annual USFA firefighter fatality reports are posted online at

Fatality status is provisional and may change as USFA contacts State Fire Marshals to verify fatality incident information.

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