Remembering a fallen firefighter


Street to be renamed in memory of Michael J. Aselage

By Melanie Speicher - mspeicher@sidneydailynews.com



Fort Loramie Firefighter Michael Aselage Fort Loramie Firefighter Michael Aselage

Fort Loramie Firefighter Michael Aselage Fort Loramie Firefighter Michael Aselage


Coutesy photo

Prior to their meeting Monday night, Fort Loramie firefighters paid their respects to Michael Aselage, who died April 2, 1975, when he was a probationary firefighter with the Fort Loramie Community Fire Company. The American flag was flown at half mast for part of the day Monday at the former fire department, where Aselage served. The other half of the day, the flag was flown at the present fire department. Firefighters said the Pledge of Allegiance as part of the ceremony honoring Aselage.


Coutesy photo

FORT LORAMIE — A street in Fort Loramie will be renamed for a village firefighter who lost his life in the line of duty in 1975.

Michael J. Aselage, 24, was a probationary firefighter with the Fort Loramie Community Fire Company at the time of his death on April 2, 1975. He died while going to direct traffic away from a downed electric wire.

A portion of state Route 705 (Park Street) just west of Sawmill Drive to Eilerman Road will be renamed the “Michael J. Aselage Memorial Highway” during a dedication ceremony on Sunday, April 22, at 1 p.m., said Jerome Barhorst, retired fire chief. The ceremony will be held at the intersection of Sawmill Drive and state Route 705 across from Osgood State Bank in Fort Loramie. In case of bad weather, the dedication will be held at the fire station, 220 N. Main St.

The son of Bernard and Elizabeth “Betty” Aselage, he was a graduate of Fort Loramie High School and served four years in the U.S. Coast Guard before coming back home to Fort Loramie. He joined the fire department on Oct. 7, 1974, following in his dad’s footsteps.

“He was going to see his girlfriend in Sidney,” recalled Barhorst, who was 29 at the time and a member of the Fort Loramie Fire Department. “There was a downed electric line on state Route 705.”

Aselage drove to a nearby house to let them know what was going on and to call the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. He then got back in his van to return where the wires were down.

“He was going to direct traffic but when he got out of his vehicle, the van door came in contact with the electric line,” said Barhorst. “When he stepped on the ground, he was instantly killed.”

Robert Bunsold, of Sidney, was injured in the accident. He had followed Aseleage with the intention of helping direct traffic also. He was knocked unconscious and taken to Wilson Hospital for treatment.

“Mike’s dad (Bernard) was also a volunteer fireman so we had to make sure he didn’t approach the scene,” said Barhorst. “We had to wait for Pioneer Electric to come to show the power down until we do anything for Mike or approach the van.

“There was a deputy en route to the scene and he witnessed the flash that killed him,” said Barhorst.

The public is invited to attend the dedication ceremony on April 22.

Fort Loramie Firefighter Michael Aselage Fort Loramie Firefighter Michael Aselage
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2018/04/web1_AselageMichael.jpgFort Loramie Firefighter Michael Aselage Fort Loramie Firefighter Michael Aselage Coutesy photo

Prior to their meeting Monday night, Fort Loramie firefighters paid their respects to Michael Aselage, who died April 2, 1975, when he was a probationary firefighter with the Fort Loramie Community Fire Company. The American flag was flown at half mast for part of the day Monday at the former fire department, where Aselage served. The other half of the day, the flag was flown at the present fire department. Firefighters said the Pledge of Allegiance as part of the ceremony honoring Aselage.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2018/04/web1_FortLoramieFirefighters.jpgPrior to their meeting Monday night, Fort Loramie firefighters paid their respects to Michael Aselage, who died April 2, 1975, when he was a probationary firefighter with the Fort Loramie Community Fire Company. The American flag was flown at half mast for part of the day Monday at the former fire department, where Aselage served. The other half of the day, the flag was flown at the present fire department. Firefighters said the Pledge of Allegiance as part of the ceremony honoring Aselage. Coutesy photo
Street to be renamed in memory of Michael J. Aselage

By Melanie Speicher

mspeicher@sidneydailynews.com

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.