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Obit: Former Spitfires' video coach DeMuynck killed in line of duty while battling fire

Windsor Star logo Windsor Star 2021-07-06 Jim Parker, Windsor Star
a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Former Windsor Spitfires video coach Sean DeMuynck was killed while working as a volunteer firefighter outside of Philadelphia.  Image courtesy Tim Cornett / Windsor Spitfires © Provided by Windsor Star Former Windsor Spitfires video coach Sean DeMuynck was killed while working as a volunteer firefighter outside of Philadelphia. Image courtesy Tim Cornett / Windsor Spitfires

Former Windsor Spitfires’ video coach Sean DeMuynck died early Monday in the line of duty while working as a volunteer firefighter in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

The 35-year-old DeMuynck left the Spitfires after the team’s 2017 Memorial Cup title to pursue a career as a firefighter.

“He was always helpful and always in a good mood and I considered him a friend,” Spitfires’ head coach Trevor Letowski said Monday. “A real good guy and I’m just in shock.”

According to a release, DeMuynck was responding with the Penn Wynne-Overbrook Hills Fire Company to a structure fire in Wynnewood, PA at 10:34 p.m. on Sunday. At approximately 11:02 p.m., a mayday call was received. DeMuynck was located on the third floor of the residence and was unresponsive. He was transported to hospital, but was pronounced dead at 12:22 a.m. on Monday.

“I’m just in shock,” Lakeshore Canadiens’ general manager Mark Seguin said. “It’s just unbelievable. He was a fireman. That was his job through and through and he was trying to be one forever.”

According to the release, DeMuynck had been with the Penn Wynne-Overbrook Hills Fire Company since August of 2019 and Sunday was to be his last shift before he was set to move back to Canada.

“He was like a big brother to me,” former Spitfires’ video coach Evan Mathias said. “This is just unbelievable and makes me sick.”

Mathias, who is now a video coach for the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, was doing analytics for the Spitfires. When DeMuynck made the decision to move on, he trained Mathias to fill his role.

“Coming into that team, he showed me everything,” Mathias said. “He taught me how to be a part of the staff. Showed me how to use all the video stuff.

“He took me under his wing right away. He was my roommate for two years and we spent a lot of nights together. It’s a shame he got out of hockey because he knew hockey, too, but he had talked about (firefighting) for a couple of years and wanted to do it. I can’t believe it.”

A native of Strathroy, DeMuynck was a defenceman for the Elgin-Middlesex minor midgets when he was drafted by Kingston in the 2002 Ontario Hockey League Draft. He never made it to the OHL as a player, but did play junior B for three seasons spending his final campaign in 2006-07 with the Leamington Flyers.

After attending Western University in London, DeMuynck joined the Canadiens as the team’s equipment manager in 2011.

“He was our equipment manager, but it was a waste of time,” said Seguin, who named him to the coaching staff a year later. “He was a hockey guy.”

When Mark Turner left the Spitfires after the 2012-13 season, then Spitfires’ head coach Bob Boughner called Seguin to inquire about DeMuynck.

“Boughie called when Turner left and I recommended him,” Seguin said. “He was a hockey guy. He was passionate, hardworking and would answer your call anytime of the day. This is just devastating.”

He spent four seasons with the Spitfires before leaving to pursue his passion for firefighting.

“He told us that was the plan,” Letowski said.

Whether is was Boughner, Rocky Thompson or any other member of the staff that needed help, DeMuynck was there to offer a hand.

“He was really passionate about hockey and loved being around it,” Letowski said. “Let’s face it, in junior hockey, those jobs are basically volunteer and he would go above and beyond

“He was a smart guy and very giving of his time. He was a problem solver and when something that went wrong, it was call Munker and Munker would figure it.”

DenMuynck is survived by his wife, Melissa. Funeral arrangements are incomplete pending an autopsy.

jpparker@postmedia.com

twitter.com/winstarparker

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