Local fire department holds rare service to honor charter member

Local News

ERIE, Pa – A rare service honors a man who dedicated nearly 80 years of his life to a local fire department. 

The American flag was proudly blowing in the wind against bright blue skies, as the West Ridge Fire Department’s antique fire truck proceeded underneath. 

This is the first truck ever purchased by the department back in 1951, reserved only for special occasions. 

Today was one of those times. 

“This is extremely special,” says Jerry DeRosa, Assistant Chief of the West Ridge Fire Department, “as far as I know, we have never done this before.”

On top of that antique fire truck, was an urn, holding the ashes of the late Harry M. Love Junior, who passed in October.

He was the last living charter member of the West Ridge Fire Department and had dedicated nearly 80 years of his life to serving others. 

“There was no one anywhere more dedicated than Harry was to serving the citizens of Millcreek and the volunteer fire service,” says Bill Bridger, an honorary firefighter at the department.

Those who knew him for years, reminisced on some of their most cherished memories together.

“I just remember growing up down the street from Harry,” says Bridger, “and when the fire siren went off, all the kids in the neighborhood would all rush up to the fire house to see what apparatus was going to go out.”

“Harry taught me to be a good person. To stop and listen to people and listen to their ideas,” says DeRosa.

The memorial service gave family, friends, and those involved with the West Ridge Fire Department a chance to bid their final goodbyes to the dedicated, selfless, and honorable Harry Love Junior.

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