RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The families of two fallen firefighters who lived in North Carolina no longer have to worry about the monthly mortgage payments on their homes.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation has paid the families’ mortgages in full as part of their third annual Season of Hope.

Orange Rural Fire Department Assistant Chief Jeffrey Holden died on the job back in 2018. He was 32 years old.

Holden died after a call to rescue a construction worker trapped in a trench in Efland. He was found unresponsive at the station.

Holden left behind a wife and a son.

“It is hard to put into words how I feel to have my mortgage completely paid off. With the heavy burden that my son and I have had to carry with the loss of Jeff, this helps to ease it. I’m no longer worried about having to move out of the home that Jeff helped to build,” said wife Christa Holden. 

The foundation also paid off the mortgage of retired New York City Fire Department Firefighter Wayne Goehring, 51. Goehring lived Waxhaw with his wife Debra and their three children.

According to the foundation, this year marks their 20th anniversary and the Season of Hope is the culmination of their anniversary events.

Tunnel to Towers has paid off 135 mortgages across the country.

“This year marked 20 years since America was attacked. 20 years since I lost my brother FDNY firefighter Stephen Siller. We lost so many heroes that day, heroes who ran towards the danger willing to lay down their lives to save the lives of complete strangers. It is an honor to continue his legacy by supporting the first responders who continue to give up their lives for us and those who are still losing their lives as a direct result of what happened on 9-11, ” said Frank Siller, Chairman and CEO of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.