The family of a “brave” firefighter who saved “countless lives” have paid tribute to him following his death in a car crash.

Mark Hillier, 47, died when his Suzuki Grand Vitara collided with a BMW on the A345 in Pewsey on Thursday, October 12.

The watch manager and father of three, a firefighter since 1995, was responding to a fire call when the incident happened.

Mark leaves behind his wife Holly and their three children, Jaimee, Hayden, and Isla.

In a moving tribute to her husband, Holly revealed Mark saved “countless lives” during his career and spoke of her pride at his dedication to Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS).

She said: “Mark lived and breathed for the fire service, it was a calling he embraced with his whole heart.

“His bravery, sense of duty and unwavering dedication to serve his community in Pewsey and the communities in Salisbury and Surrey, alongside his brothers and sisters, he held so dear.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Mark Hillier and his familyMark Hillier and his family (Image: Wiltshire Police)“The love he had for his fire service family was unquestionable. We were so proud of him.”

Away from work, Mark worked tirelessly for six years to build his family their “forever home.”

He was described as a “Jack of all trades” and a skilled craftsman and carpenter who took great pride in his work.

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Mark was also a dog lover who always made time for the family’s four “beautiful” spaniels.

Three of the dogs were in the car at the time of the crash and two of them, Teddy and Coco, died with Mark at the scene while Joey died a few hours later at the vet.

Mark’s bond with the pets is another fond memory for the family.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Mark Hillier and his familyMark Hillier and his family (Image: Wiltshire Police)Holly added: “His determination and dedication transferred to dog training, and it was a beautiful sight to see.

“Our dogs were incredible and so clever. They had the best life and were at their happiest snuggled up with us or when they were out running in the field or working with Mark.

“He did such an incredible job with them.”

Following the incident, the family has been left with the “intense pain” of losing both Mark and their dogs.

“The intense pain and devastation of losing Mark and our dogs is unimaginable and indescribable, we are broken and will never be whole again”, said Holly.

“The house is quiet. A huge part of our family has been ripped from us.”

Despite the tragedy, the family has vowed to celebrate and cherish Mark’s memory.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Mark Hillier and his familyMark Hillier and his family (Image: Wiltshire Police)They said: “We will be forever proud of you, as we knew you were of us. Your bravery, selflessness and countless lives saved will be remembered always.

“You will be forever celebrated and cherished. Mark, Dad, we love you wholeheartedly with everything we have. We miss you immensely. Until we meet again. Love you forever and always.”

Holly has now set up an email account,, where those who knew Mark are encouraged to send any pictures or stories about him.

“Please share them with us, we would love to receive them”, added Holly.

“It has been an overwhelming sense of comfort reading messages and well wishes, Mark made such an impression and knew so many people. Please don’t hold back.”

Wiltshire Police also paid their respects to the firefighter and added that their thoughts are with both his family and colleagues at this difficult time.

On Friday, October 13, DWFRS CFO Ben Ansell spoke of his shock and sadness at the news.

He added: “I know that I speak on behalf of the entire Service when I say that we are devastated by this news.”

As a mark of respect, the service’s Union flags will be flown at half-mast until Tuesday, October 17.