Body of fallen Howard Lake fire chief escorted home

Updated: January 14, 2020 06:09 PM

Dozens of people and firefighters lined streets and freeways, from Minneapolis to Howard Lake, saluting and honoring Howard Lake Fire Chief Daryl Drusch as his body was escorted to a Cokato funeral home.

The Howard Lake Fire Department said Drusch died Monday morning in the line of duty from an apparent heart attack after responding to an emergency call of a car submerged in water.


He was a 30-year veteran of the department and became chief in 2014. He is survived by his wife, Julie, and their 15-year-old son, Taylor.

Jay Wood, with the Minnesota Fire Service Foundation, told KSTP the word of Drusch's death is devastating to everyone connected to firefighting.

Howard Lake mourns sudden loss of fire chief

"It is especially hard to know his own firefighters had to respond to their Chief's emergency," Wood said. "Imagine the heartbreak for those Howard Lake firefighters who had to try and use life-saving measures on one of their own."

Trudy Berg told KSTP she practically grew up across the street from the Drusch family and her husband, Steven, was on the fire department with Drusch for many years.

"This is just really sad and hard for everyone in Howard Lake because we all knew Taddy and his family," Berg said. "Everyone knows everyone, and the fact he died in the line of duty trying to help others is not surprising."

Drusch was 49 years old.

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Jay Kolls

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