2017 Recap: Fox 2's Ron Savage, 63, Dies While Training for Detroit Charity Climb

Ron Savage at his volunteer jobl. He planned to wear that gear Sunday to climb a 70-story Renaissance Center tower for a charity benefit. (Facebook photo via Huel Perkins)


This repost from Feb 25 is our most-read article in 2017. Other Top 10 list links are below a tribute video at the end

Fox 2 reporter and anchor Ron Savage died Saturday morning while training as a Milford Fire Department volunteer, the station reports.

Savage, 63, suffered an apparent heart attack while drilling with other firefighters at the western Oakland County department. 

A Fox 2 colleague says they were preparing for a fund-raising climb Sunday up 70 floors (1,035 stairs)  at the Renaissance Center, as Savage had done in past years.  

"It's devastating for everybody," Fire Chief Thomas Moore tells the station. "This is a large family . . . and we just lost a family member today." 

"He was congratulating everybody in the group that they did successful completion" of the drill, the chief says, "and with no issues stated or anything, unfortunately collapsed."

Savage planned to join an American Lung Association benefit Sunday called the Fight for Air Climb. (He tweeted about it last Tuesday, as shown below.)


 'We Lost One of the Good Guys:' Ron Savage Is Saluted as More Than a TV Newsman
♦ Video: Hundreds Say Goodbye to Fox 2's Ron Savage in Hero's Sendoff


The newsman joined WJBK, the local Fox network affiliate, in February 1999. The station airs a five-minute tribute that's below. Its online bio says:

Emmy-winning journalist Ron Savage co-anchors Fox 2 News Weekends at 6 and 10 p.m. with Amy Lange.

Since 1999 Ron's Fox 2 Problem Solver investigations have exposed corruption and scams.

Savage also produces Fox 2's Michigan's Most Wanted segments. Police agencies confirm more than 1,000 dangerous fugitives have been arrested from a Fox 2 viewer tip.

In 2004 his live reporting from the scene of a multiple shooting during the Detroit fireworks show earned Savage an EMMY.

Ron holds a State of Michigan medical license as an Emergency Medical Technician. He serves his community as a Firefighter/EMT with the Milford Fire Dept. A decorated Firefighter Ron earned two citations for outstanding performance above and beyond the call of duty: a commercial factory fire and the rescue of a critically injured driver requiring extrication in an overturned 18 wheeler. 

He's survived by his wife, Mitzi, and son, Ronald Jr., a Milford Mavericks junior varsity basketball team member. 

Newsroom colleague Charlie Langton writes on Facebook:

I am devastated by this news. Ron was such a great person -- always friendly, so down to earth and so willing to help others. We will miss you.

The suburban volunteer posted ths shot of his fire station locker in mid-January on Facebook.

Here's an excerpt from what anchor Huel Perkins, who took Savage's place alongside Lange on the news set at 6 p.m. Saturday, posts on Twitter and Facebook:

Superman is gone! . . . He died doing what he loved. Ron was training with his crew at the Milford Fire Department in preparation for a big charity event on Sunday.

As usual, Ron had volunteered to climb the stairs of Detroit's Renaissance Center, in full gear, to raise money for the American Lung Association.

The training went well. There were smiles and high-fives and then he was gone. But he lives on in the hearts and minds of everyone who knew him.

We're sending our love and sympathy to his wife and son. And we pray that we can follow his example of courage, kindness, integrity and strength.

Another broadcaster, a WNIC radio host, tweets:

Here's what Savage tweeted four days ago about his planned fund-raising activity this weekend. The left photo shows what he wore for an earlier RenCen charity climb: 

Here's the station's five-minute tribute video:

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Read more:  Fox 2

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