Camanche High School wears red for 2003 graduate

Submitted photoCamanche High School basketball players collect money for the Clinton Fire Department on Tuesday in support of Eric Hosette, a 2003 Camanche High School graduate.

CAMANCHE — As community after community show support for the families of Clinton Fire Lt. Eric Hosette, who was killed Saturday during an explosion at Clinton's ADM plant, and firefighter Adam Cain, who lies in critical condition in an Iowa City hospital, Hosette's hometown of Camanche is paying respects in its own way.

Camanche firefighters drove to Davenport and Dixon, Illinois to buy red lightbulbs so that the city's 4,400 residents could light the town red, Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Moore said Tuesday. Porches, residences and the fire station on Ninth Avenue – where Hosette began his career – are displaying red lights in their windows. All are glowing red to show the town's respect for Hosette, its fallen son.

At Hosette's high school alma mater, spectators at Monday night's girls basketball game showed their support for the firefighter and his family by wearing red.

"They had a fireman's boot at the game" in which they took donations for the families, said Activities Assistant KaCee Weber.

Tuesday, the girls basketball team collected money at Casey's General Store and Kwik Star from 6:30 to 8 a.m., raising $1,271, Weber said.

Though most of the staff and students at Camanche High School today never knew the 2003 Camanche High School graduate, they've joined in the show of support.

"It's such a tight-knit community," Camanche High School Principal Carrie Lane said Tuesday. "It's extremely sad. People come out of the woodwork to be supportive."

A few teachers who remember a young Hosette are still on staff, Lane said.

The high school has four junior firefighters among its students, said Lane. Some of their parents are members of the Camanche Fire Department and remember Hosette, Weber said.

Students and staff were encouraged to wear red to school Wednesday, said Lane. Students will be allowed to wear hats to class Friday if they donate at least $1 for the firefighters. Teachers may wear jeans to school for the same price, Lane said.

Also, donations left at the fire station will be given to the Hosette and Cain families, Moore said.

A native of Centerville, Winona comes to the Clinton Herald after writing for the Ottumwa Courier for two years.