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Body of missing B.C. fire chief recovered

May 29, 2017, Cache Creek, B.C. - RCMP officials have confirmed that Cache Creek, B.C., fire chief Clayton Cassidy was found dead Saturday night.

May 29, 2017
By The Canadian Press

Around 10:30 p.m., the Ashcroft fire department alerted the RCMP that they found Cassidy’s body in the creek while performing their daily patrol of the area.

Cassidy had been missing since May 5, following heavy rainfall and intense flooding. He was last known to be checking water levels in Cache Creek, and his vehicle was later found at the site. He was thought to have been swept away by the flood water, and was presumed dead after several days.

RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said the discovery appears to confirm that theory.

“It’s thought that Mr. Cassidy had fallen in the creek several weeks ago when we had torrential downpours in the area,” he said.

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Moskaluk says recovery efforts are still ongoing. “We’re confident that we should be able to complete a safe recovery today,” he said.

Cache Creek mayor John Ranta said Cassidy was “highly respected” in the community.

After floods hit the area in May of 2015, Cassidy worked hard to help residents whose homes were damaged. He was given a Medal of Good Citizenship by the provincial government for his service.

“He worked day after day after day after day, 14-hour days, helping people that had debris in their yards or sand and gravel or whatnot,” Ranta said. “He just worked tirelessly until the whole community was cleaned up.”

Ranta said Cassidy’s death will be deeply felt in Cache Creek. “While flood damage can be repaired and we can take measures to prevent further flooding, the thing that can’t be replaced is the life of Clayton Cassidy. That will be a tragedy that lives with us for years to come.”