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Community Honors Late Fire Chief

September 19, 2018
BY LAUREN MATTHEWS - Editor (lmatthews@wetzelchronicle.com) , Wetzel Chronicle

The late Bert Anderson was honored Sept. 13 and 14 as friends and family, along with the first response community, gathered to pay final respects. Anderson was 43-years-old and was the chief of Hundred Volunteer Fire Department.

Hundred Mayor Charles Goff expressed gratitude to everyone who took the time to give respect to the late chief, and to give him "a most beautiful send-off."

"We had much help from multiple agencies, and I'm afraid if I list them, I'll miss someone."

Article Photos

Photo by Ed Parsons
Fire and rescue trucks line a street in Hundred in honor of the late Bert Anderson. Anderson was the chief of Hundred Volunteer Fire Department. He passed away Saturday, Sept. 8.

Goff said it was truly an honor to give Chief Anderson a day he deserved.

"He had a day with all the bells and whistles, and I bet he was smiling ear to ear while we escorted him to his final resting place."

Goff said Anderson had tried for years to arrange a helicopter "fly by" for other fallen firefighters.

"Due to weather or them not being available, it never happened." However, "On Bert's farewell, he had the sky full of choppers as Health Net and Air Evac circled the area, flying low in his honor with the sound of bagpipes playing."

"From the moment he passed away, he was still making sure firetrucks were part of his life," Goff added.

Goff said at Anderson's passing, Route 250 was completely closed down, and Mannington's ladder truck transported Anderson from his home.

"We then escorted him to Kesterson-Rush Funeral Home in Rogersville, Pa. Then, Thursday morning, he was escorted from there back to his department, that he helped build."

Goff said Anderson's passion for fire trucks ended with the grand finale as Fire and EMS agencies from all over came to escort Anderson from his fire house, through his hometown, "under the two ladder trucks displaying the American flag proudly, as he loved his country."

Goff said on Sept. 14 Anderson took his last ride in his favorite Chevy truck.

"It was very beautiful, and I believe his passing brought many fire companies closer as we all realize we all have to help each other more than ever. We'll never forget Chief Bert Anderson."

Goff believes Anderson was also looking out for his hometown and its residents as the Hundred VFD escorted Hundred High School's football team from Burton to Hundred's football field Friday night after the team snapped one of the nation's longest losing streaks.

"He loved Hundred High School and his Hornets."

Goff said he could write a book about "our best buddy."

"I just want him to know that we've got it from here, from all of our friends and colleagues. Bert, we love you! Thank you for being our mentor."

Goff noted that the West Virginia Fireman Association has reached out and invited Goff to next year's convention, to formally have Anderson remembered. He said he has also been contacted about having a scholarship to be presented in Anderson's name.

Goff previously reported that Anderson passed away at his home on the afternoon of Sept. 8.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and his new wife of one month, Sharon, also a member of the Hundred VFD," Goff had reported on Sept. 9.

Anderson began his service at 16 and was an active member of Hundred VFD for more than 26 years and earned the rank of Chief.

Anderson was also a member of Grant Town Fire Department and was employed for a long time with Marion County Rescue Squad. He also had worked for Metz Ambulance Service and Wetzel County EMS.

Goff said Anderson touched many people's hearts.

Several surrounding fire departments offered condolences last week to Hundred VFD and Anderson's loved ones.

Wileyville VFD noted, "We wish to send our deepest sympathy to the Hundred VFD in the loss of Chief Bert Anderson. If there is anything you need, we are always here. Bert will be missed by all."

Cameron VFD noted, "We have had the privilege of responding to calls along with Hundred under the command of Chief Anderson for some time, and he was always a class act. We hope those close to him will find strength in the times to come."

 
 
 

 

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