Posted on July 4, 2012 at 4:40 PM
Wednesday, Jul 4 at 5:37 PM
ANGLETON, Texas—Volunteer firefighters in Angleton are preparing to say goodbye to one of their own. John-Henry Janse Van Rensburg, 33, was killed last weekend when he was struck by lightning.
“It’s still unreal,” said Assistant Fire Chief Scott Myers. “That just doesn’t happen. You hear about it happening, but you never know anyone that it happens to.”
Janse Van Rensburg had a day job at North Houston Pole Line.
“He just finished his apprenticeship on Friday before the accident,” said Chief Myers. “Monday he was gonna’ be a full-fledged lineman. He was real excited about that.”
But out on a Saturday job in northeast Harris County, everything changed.
Janse Van Rensburg was in a field near the intersection of Miller Roads 1 and 2. He and the rest of the crew took cover from a passing thunderstorm and Janse Van Rensburg was struck while jumping out of a truck to tie something down.
“Just the odds of that happening to somebody, it’s just weird,” said fellow fireman Jason Perez. “So that’s why some of us are just numb.”
Janse Van Rensburg had volunteered for nearly three years with the Angleton Fire Department and got the nickname “Ax Man.”
“We remember stories of him bouncing around jumping around wanting to go on the fire call; jumping around wanting to chop something with an ax,” said Chief Myers. “He’s just full of adrenaline.”
Flags in Brazoria County will fly at half-staff through Saturday in Janse Van Rensburg’s honor.
His funeral is set for Friday at Northway Baptist Church.
The volunteer fireman leaves behind a wife and two young children.