Gulf Coast community fighting for Pascagoula Fire Captain Jacob Latch
A sad update to a story we first brought to you yesterday, Pascagoula Fire Captain Jacob Latch lost his battle with cancer today.
Captain Jacob Latch selflessly served the people of Pascagoula for over 16 years in addition to volunteering as a squad member for Tunnel to Towers Biloxi to help the loved ones of first responders who were killed in the line of duty.
The Gulf Coast community is returning the favor, making sure Latch’s family is taken care of now that he’s no longer able to do so.
First responders across the Gulf Coast are mourning the loss of Pascagoula Fire Captain Jacob Latch, who was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of cancer known as EHE less than two weeks ago.
While community members grieve, they’re also springing into action. Tunnel to Towers Biloxi began a GoFundMe for Latch’s wife and three children and have already raised over $50,000. Tunnel to Towers Biloxi Co-Director Justin Lopez said, “It’s amazing the support of the community. I mean just people– strangers just donating $1,500 and it’s like that’s– these times that’s a lot of money. And it makes you feel good that people are doing that for someone else that they don’t even know.”
Additionally, the Pascagoula Fire Department will be selling tickets for a gun raffle and selling t-shirts Saturday in Downtown Pascagoula to help support Latch’s family as well as other first responders and families in need. “And we’re still trying to get him on the– try to see if he’s a line of duty death and maybe we can do some more for him. We’re still going to do a lot more fundraising for him. I said I’m not letting his family and kids go without basically.”
Before his death, the 39-year-old firefighter was transferred to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and then to hospice care.
Lopez says fire departments in Houston have ladder trucks on standby to raise the flag and stand at attention when Latch leaves the hospital and is transported home. “Just like in this situation, the foundation was started out of darkness from 9/11. And doing something good makes you feel better. So, a lot of firemen are doing something right now just to stay busy so they don’t focus on the bad and it’s making you feel a lot better doing something than just sitting there crying about it.”
For next year’s Tunnel to Towers Run and Stair Climb in Biloxi, a poster of Latch will hang in the stairwell.