Two months before his death on Thursday, a Pinal County SWAT team member smashed through a window and pulled a woman and her husband from a burning house.
Sgt. Tate Lynch was among a group of Casa Grande police officers who discovered a couple trapped in a house fire in late August, according to news reports at the time. Lynch told the Casa Grande Dispatch newspaper he used a shovel to break through a bathroom window, where he found the woman.
Moments later, he and another officer went into the smoke-filled house, found the man on a hallway floor and carried him out.
“We picked him up and got out as quickly as we could,” Lynch told the newspaper.
This week, the 36-year-old was training in Florence with the county SWAT team, made up of officers from throughout the area, when he accidentally fell from a wall about two stories and hit his head, county officials said. He was flown to a Scottsdale hospital where he died.
Following the Aug. 19 house fire, Lynch told the Dispatch he was proud of his fellow officers.
“Everybody acted courageously, and at the time saved two people’s lives,” Lynch said.
That tally would not stand, however. The woman he pulled from the house, Grace Webb, 59, was taken to a Valley hospital and died later that day, the newspaper stated. The woman’s husband, William Webb, 64, survived.
Christie Lynch took care of the children while her husband worked the streets of Casa Grande and Pinal County, according to an e-mail sent to members of a statewide police union.
It asked union members to give money through a special account, No. 8453628300, set up in Tate Lynch’s name at Wells Fargo Bank.
A memorial service for Lynch will be 11 a.m. Thursday at Trinity Baptist Church, 1100 E. Trinity Place in Casa Grande.