N.C. police officer dies after responding to house fire

Officer Craig Cloninger, 38, suffered a medical emergency and became unconscious while responding to the blaze

Duty Death: Craig Cloninger - [Mount Gilead, North Carolina]

End of Service: 08/14/2021


By Sarah Calams

MOUNT GILEAD, N.C. — A police officer died from a medical emergency while responding to a house fire Saturday night.

The Richmond Observer reported that Mount Gilead Police Department Officer Craig Cloninger, 38, suffered a medical emergency and became unconscious while responding to a home engulfed in flames. EMS providers on scene began lifesaving measures and transported Cloninger to a hospital.

"The death of an officer is a tragic event; it touches the hearts and emotions of everyone, not only in the department, but the community as a whole," Chief Pat Preslar said in a statement. "When it involves someone as young as Craig, who has children, it is even more difficult."

Cloninger leaves behind his wife and two daughters.

"We will miss him tremendously as he was an integral part of the Mount Gilead Police Department team," Preslar added.

According to a press release from the department, a body was found inside the home that caught fire. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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