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Eldorado mourns loss of firefighter

By Travis DeNeal
updated: 7/31/2019 2:23 PM

ELDORADO -- Members of the Eldorado community are mourning the death of a young volunteer firefighter known for his hard work and dedication to the Eldorado Fire Department.

Coroner Jerry Doug Watson pronounced Michael Vaughan, 35, dead at 9:45 a.m. Sunday about a block and a half from his home. Vaughan was found in his truck, dead from a gunshot wound.

Watson said he conducted an investigation with the help of Illinois State Police; he said the injury appeared to be self-inflicted.

During the investigation, Watson said he interviewed friends of Vaughan, who said they had seen and spoken to him the evening before. He appeared to be in good spirits, the friends said.

Watson said he and his son, Sean Watson, who also is a volunteer firefighter for EFD, saw Vaughan often at the fire station, which is across the street from Watson Funeral Home. He said Vaughan was a dedicated firefighter and member of the Eldorado community.

"He was a great young man. I met him several different times when I stopped by the fire station with Sean, and we would shoot the breeze for a little bit," Watson said. "He was a fine young gentleman."

Watson said the community, especially firefighters, police officers and first responders, are greatly saddened by Vaughan's passing.

"These guys are devastated," Watson said.

Eldorado Mayor Rocky James, likewise, said the community was feeling the loss of Vaughan.

"He was very dedicated to the fire department, he thought a lot of the fire department, and the fire department thought a lot of him," James said. "It's a sad, sad day, and his family needs lots of prayer."