Harrison Township firefighter dies following surgery

Lt. Andrew 'Moose' Russell injured on call

HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Surrounded by friends, family and their firefighting family, Clara Russell said she was probably one of the few who didn't call her husband Moose.

Inside Station 1 in Harrison Township, Lt. Andrew "Moose" Russell's gear sits untouched, as it will for a while to come.

"He was pretty much the brother I never had," Sgt. Fred Darga said. "We could talk about anything. We could laugh, joke, cry."

Darga was as close to Russell as anyone.

Early this year, while on a medical call, Russell fell on ice and damaged his shoulder so severely it needed to be replaced. That surgery finally happened on Monday of last week, and he went home Wednesday.

He started feeling sick Saturday and told his wife to call 911, but it was too late.

His friends said they think a blood clot killed him.

Russell always had a smile on his face, and deeply cared about everyone he met.

"He carried around a notebook," his friend told Local 4 News. "When you would meet him, whatever he wanted to remember about you."

The lieutenant leaves behind a wife and three children.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with (Russell's) wife Clara and their three children, Eli, Erin, and Adam," a post on the Harrison Township Firefighters Local Facebook page. "Rest in peace Lieutenant Andrew "Moose" Russell."

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