At its core, the purpose of a local online news site like The Apopka Voice is to deliver the news accurately, objectively, and timely.
Sometimes it's good news, sometimes bad, but last night it was tragic.
Austin Duran, the 24-year-old Firefighter EMT with the Apopka Fire Department, lost his life after a two-week battle to recover from catastrophic injuries suffered in an on-the-job accident at AFD's Fire Station #1. It was a heartbreaking and shocking end to a story Apopkans were following since June 30th.
Two hours after we received the news of Austin's death, and confirmed its accuracy, we published a brief 140-word article on our site and posted it on our Facebook page. A few minutes after its publication, we received several complaints on social media, and two firefighters asked us to take the story down - which we did.
This is the article as it appeared last night:
We regret any emotional distress the timing of the original article may have caused Apopka residents, its firefighters, or Austin's family and friends.
We simply wanted to report the news we learned, albeit awful, and give the community a platform to express its grief and condolences. That is our duty as a local online news site.
And in this time of grief for the Apopka community, the AFD, and the Duran family, our prayers remain with them.
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