Community rallies in support of fallen fire captain’s family

Fire Captain Wayne Habell.

As details are worked out for a memorial service honoring fire Capt. Wayne Habell, friends and the people he touched continue to raise money for his family.

On Saturday, after a weeklong search, the veteran firefighter’s body was found on a hiking trail in Montecito in Santa Barbara County.

Habell went missing Aug. 6 when he got into his older model black Chrysler Aspen SUV and was reportedly going to LA Fitness in Stevenson Ranch.

Within hours of his death being reported, efforts were immediately underway to show support for his family.

Two fundraising sites have been set up on the GoFundme website — one by a friend of the family, the other by a friend and firefighter who worked with Habell.

As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, the sites have raised more than $14,360 collectively.

“Wayno was my paramedic partner at Fire Station 107,” said Capt. Adam Clint of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. “He was a proud father of three, and a wonderful and patient husband. He was my ‘brother’ on the squad and we shared our share of good times and bad.”

Clint said Tuesday that no official details about a memorial service for Habell have yet been finalized.

In the meantime, however, he is encouraging as many people as he can to donate to the family.

On his GoFundme site, Clint wrote: “Please share and if you can contribute, the family would greatly appreciate it. All donations will go directly to his wife to cover funeral costs and any other expenses that may come up.”

“If you can’t make a donation, please donate an act of kindness to someone you love, or to a complete stranger. Compassion goes a long way. Thank you everyone for your support.

See you on the other side, Double X.”

Clint’s fundraising efforts has so far exceeded $12,470.

On the other GoFundme site, family friend Cherie Simone has raised at least $2,213.

Simone posted on her GoFundme site: “The loss of Wayne has left an incomprehensible impact on his family and the entire community as a whole. Not only was Wayne an extremely devoted husband, father and friend, he was also a well-respected and much-loved firefighter and hero to many.

“No one should ever have to endure this type of pain or immense heartache,” she wrote. “In an effort to help Jennifer and their kids during this unimaginable time we must come together as one to help ease any financial burdens they may come across.”

Funds raised on Simone’s GoFundme site go directly to providing household help and basic necessities for the family’s immediate needs, as well as help provide for the children’s future.

jholt@signalscv.com

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