CAMANCHE — If anyone was destined to be a fireman, it was Eric Hosette.
The grandson of Charlotte Fire Chief Dick Grimm, Hosette hung around the fire station with his grandfather and the Charlotte firefighters from a young age, Camanche Fire Department Assistant Chief Jeff Moore said Tuesday.
"In the Grimm family, firefighting is a family affair," wrote Clinton Herald staff writer Danica Baker in 2007, when Grimm retired. Both of Grimm's sons were firefighters in Charlotte, and grandson Eric Hosette was with Clinton and Camanche fire departments.
"(Eric) Hosette said his grandfather encouraged him to enter the fire service," the Herald article said. "'I pretty much just grew up in the fire service. I spent a lot of time with him,' said Hosette. 'He pretty much inspired me to it.'"
Grimm was proud of his grandson, the story says: "''I give him a rough time about being a rookie,' Grimm said. 'He's always been interested in being a firefighter. He always wanted to go to the fire.'"
"'I'd be with him and they'd get a call and I'd get all excited and want to go with him,' Hosette remarked."
When Hosette was hired by the Clinton Fire Department in 2006, he couldn't wait to tell Grimm, the Herald article says: "'He was the first one I called when I got the call from Clinton. He sounded pretty excited about that.'"
Hosette graduated from Camanche High School in 2003. At that time, the Camanche Fire Department didn't have its junior firefighter program, Moore said. Hosette couldn't join the fire department until he turned 18.
Less than two months after graduating, Hosette became a Camanche volunteer firefighter, Moore said. He left Camanche in December 2012, moving to Charlotte where his grandfather had spent 50 years on the department, 30 of those as chief.
"[Hosette] was recently voted in as their chief up there," Moore said. "For him it was a great honor" because of his grandfather's history there.
Hosette participated in football, track, wrestling and golf while in high school, said CHS Principal Carrie Lane. He was involved in Students Against Drunk Driving and Key Club, a Kiwanis service leadership program.
"I was a shop teacher then," said Camanche Wrestling Coach Brent Carstensen. "He was in my shop classes."
Carstensen remembers that Hosette didn't wrestle for Camanche during his senior year.
"We begged him and begged him," Carstensen said, but Hosette was more interested in other things, including firefighting and farming, Carstensen said.
"He just thought more like a rural person than city folk," Carstensen said.
Though details from 16 years ago are fuzzy, the teacher remembers Hosette as "very agreeable. Loved to be active."
Hosette "was destined to be in some kind of service," Carstensen said.
Once out of high school, Hosette joined the brotherhood his grandfather had introduced him to.
"He was a volunteer here," said Moore. "He got his start here. He got his certification here."
Even after the Clinton Fire Department hired Hosette, he continued to live in Camanche and volunteer as a firefighter there, Moore said. He served on the Camanche City Council before moving to Charlotte.
Camanche's three paid firefighters, Moore, Camanche Fire Chief Dave Schutte and Capt. Jim Sowle, worked with Hosette at one time or another, Moore said. "All three of us worked at some time at Clinton Fire. We've been with Eric through the volunteer side and working with him at Clinton for awhile."
Hosette's obituary from Snell-Zornig Funeral Homes and Crematory says Hosette's lifelong dream was to be a firefighter.
Nearly 20 area fire departments accompanied Grimm to his final resting place in 2008, according to a 2008 Herald article that hangs on the wall at the Camanche Fire Station.
In the same manner, representatives of fire departments from across the state are expected to escort Hosette to his final resting place this weekend.