Angelina Co. fire departments say goodbye to fallen chief - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Angelina Co. fire departments say goodbye to fallen chief

HUNTINGTON, TX (KTRE) -

Firefighters from across Angelina Countygathered to say goodbye to one of their own.

"Its just a long handed downtradition of family, you're a banded brotherhood," said Richie Allen,Firefighter, Huntington Volunteer Fire Department.

Gil Harper, the President and former chiefof the Ora Volunteer Fire department passed away early this week.

"He had a big impact oneverybody's lives," said Chris Smith, Assistant Fire Chief Hudson.

Former colleagues remember Harper asan inspirational leader and say he treated those he worked with like his ownchildren.

"He was a one of a kind person,"said James Hope, Fire Chief, Ora Fire Department.

"The fire department was hisbaby," said Allen.

Friday 40 fire trucks flooded thestreets of Huntington in honor of the fallen chief.

"To turn and look at all thesetruck its just overwhelming," said Allen.

Volunteer Fire Fighter Richie Allenmet Harper in 1992, Allen says that his personality helped him gain the respectof everyone he met.

"He's a one of a hind gentleman,you'll never find another one like him, he always had a joke to ease themoment," said Allen.

Harper's death is believed to be theresult of cancer, but firefighters are hoping Friday's procession will ease thepain of the family he leaves behind.

"I hope just them knowing howwell he was thought of and how he touched every one of us, I hope it makes themfeel better," said Smith.

The department retired Harper's callnumber but says his legacy will live on.

"Its going to be rough but we're going to honor hiswishes," said Hope.

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