Marion couple offers free meals to Clinton firefighters, police and families

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MARION, Iowa (KWWL) — An eastern Iowa couple is cooking up a special way to try and support first responders from a town hit by tragedy.

Lt. Eric Hosette

This comes after a firefighter died on duty over the weekend in the family’s hometown.

Clinton Fire Department Lieutenant Eric Hosette was fighting flames within a storage silo on Saturday morning went an explosion suddenly went off in the silo, killing him. Hosette was 33-years-old.

The explosion injured another firefighter, Adam Cain. His condition reportedly is improving.

Many communities throughout the state have honored Hosette this week. A procession carried the 12-year Clinton Fire Veteran body from the state medical examiner’s office in Ankeny all the way home to Clinton.

Fire departments between Ankeny and Clinton lined the overpasses on Interstate 80 to salute Hosette.

A couple in Marion hope now to do their part to show their respect.

Mr. Beans, in Marion, is offering free meals to Clinton firefighters, police and their families. The owners know they may be off the beaten path but they want to do what they can to help a tragedy that hits close to home.

On Tuesday night, Kevin Keister vacuums after closing Mr. Beans for the night. He and his wife, Tracy, moved to Marion 14 months ago to pursue a dream of being business owners.

“I’ve always had a dream of owning my own business and coffee shop,” Tracy says.

The Keisters came to Marion from Clinton, Iowa.

“Clinton is our hometown. It always will be,” Kevin said.

That affinity for their hometown made the news of an explosion that killed Hosette and injured Cain that much harder.

It hit home for the couple, especially Tracy.

Tracy Keister recently moved to Marion from Clinton. Her brother works at the plant where the explosion killed Lt. Hosette.

“My brother works at ADM where the explosion happened so obviously he was working in the next building so it just kind of really hit us,” Tracy said. “We were shocked and sad and just couldn’t believe it.”

Though the business is more than an hour away, Tracy said they still wanted to do something to help, since they aren’t there, in the one way they knew how; to offer a free meal.

“Any fellow Clinton fireman or Clinton police officers or their families that are driving out here to Iowa City on a daily or weekly basis, then they’re more than welcome to stop in here and get a free lunch. It’s on us,” Kevin said.

“We wish were closer and they just stop right down the block,” Tracy adds.

It’s their way to support a fallen hero and those that served by his side.

“We run away from danger and they’re running into it. They deserve all the respect we can give them. That’s honorable,” Kevin said.

Cain’s treatment is at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

The Keisters said first responders likely will be traveling to visit him. If they do, or if they’re in the area, they want them to know they have a free meal ready for them.

An obituary for Hosette says a public visitation will be held for him in Clinton at Zion Lutheran Church on Friday, January 11, from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m.

A service to honor his life will be Saturday, January 12, at 11:30 a.m. at the Riverview Park Bandshell in Clinton.

A private family burial service will follow.

Jalyn Souchek

Jalyn Souchek

Reporter
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