Family members and colleagues are remembering an Alberta man and his uncle after both were found shot dead north of Edmonton Saturday morning.
Thirty-nine-year-old Jacob Sansom — known as Jake to family and friends — was a firefighter with the Nobleford Fire Department and his death comes as an unexpected shock to his loved ones.
“As this big, tall, kind of intimidating looking guy, when you get to know him… his heart was huge. He would always help people out, whether it was people in the community, or the fire department,” said Ryan Wagner, the fire chief at Nobleford Fire Station.
Both Sansom and his 57-year-old uncle, Morris Cardinal, were discovered Saturday on a rural road outside a parked truck near Glendon.
RCMP say the deaths are considered suspicious.
On Monday firefighters from multiple nearby departments got together for a memorial to honour their fallen brother.
“It was pretty special and meaningful to see that type of reach out from neighboring communities from southern Alberta, it means a lot because in the firefighting industry they talk about the brotherhood,” Wagner said.
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More than 20 fire trucks were a part of a procession, driving through Nobleford to pay tribute.
Sansom’s wife left a comment on the Champion Fire Department Facebook page where a video of the tribute had been posted.
Sarah Sansom’s comment reads: “Thank you. Thank you so incredibly much for honouring my husband as he deserves. I am broken without him and our children are shattered. But this. All of this. Just makes us know he was loved so dearly and that we are not going to be left to fall alone.”
“We all rely on each other on a day-to-day basis, to make sure we’re all safe and can go home, and all of a sudden you’re missing one of your family,” said Byron Fraser, fire chief of Barons Fire Department.
“It kind of hits us all, even if it’s not your department,” he said.
A GoFundMe page started by a family friend to support Sarah and their three young children had raised nearly $30,000 by Tuesday afternoon.
RCMP are asking anyone with information or with dash-cam footage from the areas listed below between 8 p.m. March 27 and 4 a.m. March 28 to contact them.
Areas of interest:
Range Road 84
Range Road 85
Range Road 90
Township Road 614
Township Road 620
Township Road 622
Anyone with information should call the Bonnyville RCMP at 780-343-7200. You can also submit tips anonymously through Crime Stoppers online or by phone at 1-800-222-8477.
—Files from Breanna Karstens-Smith