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Family holds on to hope that missing worker is alive beneath collapsed power station

'He wouldn’t give up on us. We’re not giving up on him'
Jamie Fitzgerald.png
Posted at 11:00 PM, Dec 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-22 12:41:14-05

MANCHESTER, Ohio — John Fitzgerald hasn’t lost hope that his brother, Jamie, could still be alive beneath Killen Generating Station after it collapsed in Manchester on Dec. 9.

"Everyone is focused on getting him out, getting him home. One way or the other,” he said.

In pictures, John holds on to precious moments of his younger brother, whom he described as a devoted father and generous man with a great sense of humor.

"Goofball. Always into something. Smiling. Always laughing, acting silly,” he said.

But it could be another month before crews are able to find Jamie. Adamo Group, the demolition firm working at the decommissioned Killen Power Station, released a statement Monday saying it may take until late January to recover Jamie. John said the family was beyond devastated to learn the news.

"I literally broke down,” he said. “There's no way that I can leave my brother lay there for another two, three, four weeks. If I have to go in myself -- I want him out of there.”

John knows Jamie is tough, and he has faith that his brother could make it out alive.

“We’re still hoping and praying he’s in there,” he said. “Hoping and praying that we get him out alive. We haven’t given up. He wouldn’t give up on us. We’re not giving up on him.”

As crews continue to remove the wreckage, John wants folks to think of the man, with a fiancée and three kids, still inside.

"It's not just a building being torn down. It's not just metal moving. There's someone in there that may be wanting out."

Fitzgerald’s family and friends plan to be at the site again at 8 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Crews rescued three trapped men on the day of the collapse, who were hospitalized in stable condition. Three days later, crews recovered the body of Clyde Douglas Gray.

MORE: First responders describe rescue efforts at collapsed power plant

Adamo brought on the engineering firm Thornton & Tomasetti to assist in the recovery. The cause of the collapse is still unclear.