Vietnam War veteran dies days after son perishes in blaze

A Vietnam War veteran died just four days after the son he tried to rescue died in a fire at the family’s home in upstate New York.

When John Hover’s home caught fire last week, the former Marine and Vietnam War veteran sprang into action.

According to The Albany Times Union, Hover, 64, ran in to save his wife, Georgia Skarzynski Hover, who uses a wheelchair, from the family’s burning upstate Poestenskill, N.Y., home. But Hover was driven from the wood-frame home by smoke before he could reach his son Devin, 29, who later died.

Days after Devin’s death, John Hover, who worked as a foreman at Collins Lumber in Troy, was killed after his truck hit another vehicle head-on as he returned from surveying his charred home, the paper reported.


John Hover and Devin Hover were laid to rest in a joint funeral Saturday after the tragic sequence.

Regarding the fire rescue, "he was trying to get into a side door, but the smoke drove him back," Chief Basle of the Poestenkill Fire Company told the newspaper.

“He was still trying to get in and our guys had to physically pull him away from the house for his own safety."

"We were told he was very distraught about his son's death," North Greenbush Police Chief Robert Durivage reportedly said.

"If there is a lesson to be learned here maybe people should not drive when they are distraught or upset. It's a distraction. You have to slow down and concentrate on driving through those 'S' curves."

Investigators do not suspect alcohol, and Durivage told the Times Union, "It was just an accident."

Both father and son were laid to rest Saturday afternoon at the Third Presbyterian Church in Troy, according to the Times Union.

Devin Hover was reportedly a recovering addict who had recently pieced together a period of sobriety when the fire occurred.

"My brother was an inspiration, for him to come as far as he did in life and to go through everything he did, he was really inspiring," Timothy Hasbrouck told the Times Union. "He was a great brother to have."

Click for the story from The Albany Times Union.