Family mourns 'big teddy bear,' Conway firefighter Chris Ray

Family mourns 'big teddy bear,' Conway firefighter Chris Ray
Chris Ray. (Source: YouTube)

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Several firefighters knew Conway firefighter Chris Ray in the Green Sea area, where he served as a volunteer firefighter for seven years.

While they wished not to speak to media, it was apparent they had suffered a loss in the wake of Ray's death on Sunday.

He was part of the Conway Fire Department responding to a house fire on Hickory Circle around 3:30 p.m., on Sunday.  Both Conway and Horry County Fire Departments were fighting the blaze. Ray fell off the back of the truck and was hit as it backed up, South Carolina Highway Patrol said.

Ray lived in Green Sea. His sister-in-law, Tiffani Bufkin, was at his home on Monday.

She said the entire community has reached out to the Ray family, even fire stations from other states.

Flags at the Horry County training academy that Ray and the station where he volunteered were at half mast on Monday, in honor of one of their own.

Bufkin said Ray loved to help people, which is why he became a firefighter.

"He was a good person. I mean you really can't say anything bad about him. If you had a bad day, he'd make you laugh. We would go back and forth all the time. That's just what we did. You could hand him a newborn and see the toughest man turn into a teddy bear. That's just Chris," said Bufkin.

Bufkin thanked everyone for their love and support during this difficult time. Funeral arrangements for Ray will take place at Thursday at 11 a.m. at Beach Church, located at 557 George Bishop Pkwy.,in Myrtle Beach.

The S.C. State Firefighter Foundation has set up a GoFundMe page for Ray's family:

All money raised on this page will go directly to the family, according to Jason Pope, Deputy Director of the S.C. State Firefighters' Association.

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