Firefighter dies after collapsing at Sissonville blaze
By Staff reports (WVGazette)

SISSONVILLE, W.Va. — A firefighter who collapsed and died while battling a blaze in Sissonville on Monday has been identified.

John Appleton, 62, of the Malden Volunteer Fire Department, had just arrived at 6 Happy Hollow Road at 2:30 p.m. when he fell down and went into cardiac arrest, said C.W. Sigman, deputy emergency services director for Kanawha County.

Four paramedics were already on scene with an ambulance and treated Appleton. He later died at CAMC General Hospital. The fire had completely engulfed the home before the firefighters arrived on scene. No one was inside.

“We don’t have a clue what caused the fire yet,” Sigman said. “When firefighters got there it was really cooking.”

Appleton had been a firefighter for about seven years and was the pastor of Kanawha Salines Presbyterian Church in Malden, Sigman said.

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Chaplain/Firefighter John Appleton, a seven (7) year veteran of the Malden Volunteer Fire Department, passed away in the line of duty on Monday, June 24, 2013 after falling ill while operating on the scene of a working structure fire in Sissonville.

Chaplain/FF Appleton, age 62, was the Pastor of the Kanawha Salines Presbyterian Church in Malden.  He leaves behind his wife Cathy, and four (4) children: Spring, Luke, Eric, and Brandon.  John moved to the Malden area eight (8) years ago from the Philadelphia area.  Soon after moving to West Virginia, John and his son, Luke, joined the Malden Volunteer Fire Department and began serving their community.  John was the consummate volunteer firefighter and always strived to help meet the needs of others.

Here are the tentative funeral arrangements for Chaplain/FF John Appleton of the Malden VFD


  • There will be a public visitation on Thursday, June 27th, 2013 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Kanawha Salines Presbyterian Church on Salines Drive in Malden, West Virginia
  • There will be a funeral service for the family and the Malden Volunteer Fire Department members on Friday, June 28th, 2013 at the Kanawha Salines Presbyterian Church
  • Fire apparatus and emergency vehicles should assemble for the procession at Carver Career Center off of Malden Drive just outside of Malden beginning at 10:00 a.m. on the 28th.
  • The funeral procession with apparatus from Malden and Sissonville will begin as soon as the family service is completed (at or around 11:00 a.m.) and will leave the Church and proceed to Malden Drive
  • Apparatus and emergency vehicles will join in the procession from Carver and follow to the site of the public funeral – Riverside High School
  • The procession will go up old Route 60 to the overpass in Belle – it will then go on new Route 60 to Riverside High School
  • The public funeral with full honors will be held at Riverside High School at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, June 28th, 2013
  • Chaplain/FF Appleton’s wishes were to be cremated so there will be no procession and/or graveside service following the public funeral.
  • Stevens & Grass Funeral Home in Malden is handling the arrangements for the family.


If you are a Kanawha County Fire Department and plan on attending with your apparatus, please make sure your fire area is covered.  If you need help making those arrangements please contact C. W. Sigman (Unit 991) so that he can coordinate those activities and make sure the right department gets dispatched.


For additional information you can contact the Malden Volunteer Fire Department at 304-925-9093 or Captain Bradley Scott at 304-206-7431 or by e-mail at   You can also contact Tom Miller at if you have any questions.


Please keep the family and the Malden Volunteer Fire Department in your thoughts and prayers.

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