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Mar 30, 2016 7:28 PM

Town of Lyndeborough mourns after firefighter dies in tragic tree accident

LYNDEBOROUGH - The town of Lyndeborough was in mourning Wednesday, after police identified the firefighter that died in an accident Tuesday night in Weare to be one of their own.

31-year-old Derek Lankowski died when a tree came crashing down on his pickup truck. His family, friends and fellow firefighters came together to remember the fallen hero.

"He was very unique," Lyndeborough Fire Chief Brian Smith said. "Obviously when he was in the room, he always had a way of letting you know he was there."

There was an outpouring of support for the 8- year volunteer firefighter, where the department is calling Lankowski a "brother lost but not forgotten."

"I can’t even wrap my head around it," Chief Smith said. "If it was a split- second before or after or if there was a road detour, this wouldn’t have happened."

Those close to Lankowski described him as the "life of the party and a loving husband" who would have celebrated his third wedding anniversary this year.

"Yeah I wasn't very good," Lyndeborough’s Fire Rescue Chief, Don Cole said. "I’m just devastated and I just can't believe he's gone."

"Every picture I’ve ever seen of him in every wedding he is the best man," Chief Smith said. "He will be very well missed."

Lankowski's services were held at Cournoyer Funeral Home in Jaffrey, where people may visit their website to donate funds in support of Lankowski's family. The family's account is expected to become open for donations at some point Thursday evening.

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