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‘Tough days ahead:’ Retired firefighter pronounced dead at scene of crash; off-duty officer was driving

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MILWAUKEE -- A retired firefighter was killed in a crash involving a vehicle driven by an off-duty police officer. It happened Sunday evening, July 22 near 53rd and Van Beck.

Loved ones said the two were friends and neighbors. They lived about a block away from the scene of the crash. A split tree at the scene shows just how intense the impact was.

Allan Zehm

"The driver lost control, spun around and hit a tree," said Allan Zehm.

The seat in the blue Camaro where Arthur Fennig sat was smashed in, with shattered glass everywhere.

Zehm said Fennig was a close friend.

"In a daze. Everything is so sudden. You can't say goodbye. Shock. Just shock," said Zehm.

He said it was tough to get the horrific scene out of his mind, but he was trying to focus on the good memories with his friend.


Mike Torpy

"Nicest guy in the world. Would do anything for you," said Zehm.

Fennig, 79, was a retired Milwaukee firefighter. He served the community for nearly 30 years.

"He's an outdoorsman, hunter, fisherman, camper, skier," said Mike Torpy, family friend and fellow firefighter.

Torpy said Fennig regularly enjoyed time with family and friends and had a personality that would light up a room.

"Art was a character. He was a funny, funny man. He was full of life -- outgoing. He was just a fun guy to be around. Tough days ahead," said Torpy.

Torpy said as they await the results of the investigation, loved ones are also thinking about the 31-year-old Milwaukee police officer who was driving.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with him that he is OK and gets better," said Torpy.


An investigation is ongoing, involving police and the Wisconsin State Patrol. The officer is on administrative leave. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday for Arthur Fennig. A family member told FOX6 News on Monday they're still in the process of making funeral arrangements.

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