'Everyone has lost a true friend': Retired Columbus firefighter passes away

Columbus Division of Fire Battalion Chief Steve Martin says Jim Evans (second from left), a retired Columbus firefighter, passed away Friday night. (Image Courtesy: Lauren Lichtenauer)

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A retired firefighter with the Columbus Division of Fire has passed away.

Chief Steve Martin says Jim Evans died Friday night.

Lauren Lichtnauer, founder of the local non-profit "Christopher's Promise," says Evans worked with the group after he retired as a firefighter.

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“For about five years the Columbus Firefighter Foundation has donated enough money to cover bikes for 17 families about $27,000,” Lichtnauer said.

“It became more of a family kind of dynamic between our organization and the firefighters' organization.”

The group posted a message on social media about Evans' passing.

"Since retiring from the Columbus Division of Fire in 2016, Jim has remained very active within the Columbus Firefighters Foundation, most recently serving as Treasurer. The Foundation, the charitable branch of IAFF Local 67, started in 2011 and has around 240 members. Last year, the foundation gave out just over $80,000 to various organizations such as the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio, Charity Newsies, the OSU Burn Center, Firefighters 4 Kids - Columbus Ohio, and many others," the group wrote.

"We were absolutely heartbroken to learn yesterday that Jim Evans had passed away in his sleep unexpectedly. There is a point where feelings go beyond words. Everyone has lost a true friend and the world a remarkable soul. Our hearts go out to Jim’s family, friends, the Columbus Division of Fire, and everyone else fortunate enough to have had Jim in their lives. You will truly be missed."