Submitted by his Family
Frederick Allen ‘Fred’ Burroughs was killed when a propane gas explosion leveled a convenience store in Ghent‚ WV‚ on Tuesday‚ January 30‚ 2007.
Fred began his firefighting career as a junior fireman at the age of 17. The Ghent Fire Department had just been founded and was campaigning for volunteers. With the lack of anything better to do‚ he began to hang out there. It wasn’t long until firefighting was in his blood. He began taking fire classes and EMT classes and found out he was good at what he did. From driving the trucks‚ to operating the equipment and the pumper‚ to entering a burning building and actually fighting fire‚ to extrication‚ to CPR‚ to management of the department‚ he was eager to learn‚ and he learned quickly. He had a burning desire to make a difference in the lives of others. You see‚ when Fred was 13‚ he lost his dad to a sudden heart attack. With no training in life saving maneuvers‚ he felt helpless…he never forgot the helpless feeling he had that day.
Fred served 33 years as a volunteer with the Ghent Volunteer Fire Department‚ holding positions of EMT‚ sergeant‚ lieutenant‚ captain‚ assistant chief and chief. At the time of his death‚ he was a captain with the department and served as a member of the board of directors. The growth and well being of his department were always in the forefront of his mind. His wife would tease him that he loved that department more than her.
His ‘income producing’ job for five years prior to his death was as a building code inspector for the Raleigh County Code Enforcement Department in Beckley‚ WV.
Fred was a very dedicated family man…tremendously devoted to his wife of 25 years. His son and daughter were his pride and joy‚ and he cherished special times spent with all of them.
Losing a man with Fred’s integrity‚ knowledge‚ talents‚ love of life and family‚ quick wit‚ endearing smile‚ and dedication to his family‚ his department and his community has left a tremendous void in the lives of his wife‚ children‚ mother‚ other family members‚ friends‚ co-workers and fellow firefighters that can never be filled. Volumes could be written about him. His contributions were so many‚ the lives he touched too numerous to mention. We will never know how many lives he was instrumental in saving on that fateful day‚ but his ultimate sacrifice for his fellow man and on behalf of his department is a legacy that will live on forever!
Fred now resides in his heavenly home watching over us all everyday. He is survived by his wife‚ Hazel; son‚ Christopher; daughter‚ Lindsay; and mother‚ Betty.