OSU lineman's dad battles the blaze

Oregon State offensive lineman Nick Suing's dad is fighting the Riverside Fire on the front lines in Clackamas County.

Posted: Sep 11, 2020 6:55 PM
Updated: Sep 11, 2020 6:56 PM

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Things became very real for Oregon State offensive lineman Nick Suing and his family when his dad was called to fight the Riverside Fire in Clackamas County, which has already burned more than 130,000 acres as of Friday morning.

"It's nerve-racking just knowing he is out there, not knowing what could happen," Suing said. "Anything really could happen."

Nick's father, Shawn, has been a firefighter with the Tualatin Fire Department for more than 20 years. In their short conversations, Nick says his dad hasn't seen anything quite like this.

"I texted him one of the nights, Nick said. "He said 'I'm back out on another fire. It's crazy out here.'"

It's a situation that's been tough on the Suing family, especially Nick's mom, Karen.

"She's obviously really nervous," Nick said. "This morning when she heard my dad was getting sent off to Clackamas County she was pretty nervous. But she's holding up pretty well."

It's a not a feeling they haven't felt before. Nick's grandfather was also a firefighter for the Tualatin Fire Department. Nick's older brother Jack is also a firefighter in training. 

"A lot of people are always asking me if I'm going to follow in my grandpa's, dad's and brother's footsteps," Nick said. "We will see."

For now Nick is comfortable with leading the Beavers on Saturdays. However, he said it doesn't compare to what his dad does everyday.

"I think it's cool to say he is out there helping these communities," Nick said. "Unfortunately they haven't been able to save all the communities from fires and there's been a lot of devastation with that. There's also a lot of good stories of them saving people's homes and protecting people from the fires."

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