Fallen Firefighter Remembered as Hero, Cowboy and Man of Honor

3 years 9 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, February 27 2014 Feb 27, 2014 Thursday, February 27, 2014 10:46:00 AM CST February 27, 2014 in News
By: Annie Hammock, KOMU Interactive Director
loading

COLUMBIA - A black cowboy hat sat atop a well-worn firefighter's jacket flanked by two scuffed helmets at the front of The Crossing church Thursday. The silent tribute spoke volumes about the life of Lt. Bruce Britt, who died in an apartment collapse Feb. 22.

"We mourn for the family of firefighters who have lost a brother," said Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid. "Lt. Bruce Britt is a hero we will never forget."

Britt's memorial service began with bagpipes playing as firefighters holding axes filed down the aisles to stand before a stage filled with flowers. A photo of Britt in uniform filled monitors above. Church cameras showed one first responder, bent forward with clasped hands, mouthing a whispered prayer.

The morning started with a solemn procession through the streets of Columbia. A long line of firetrucks, ambulances and police vehicles rolled with lights flashing and flags waving along a route that stretched nearly six miles.

A "wall of blue" greeted service goers as firefighters in full dress uniform lined the walkway. A giant U.S. flag was draped between two firetrucks nearby.

Columbia Fire Chief Charles Witt said Britt would be "extremely frustrated" by the "hoopla going on" in his honor.

The family's obituary noted his "rough exterior."

"Bruce was a cowboy at heart, wearing boots and hat before he could walk. He enjoyed riding horses, working at the Callaway Sale Barn and raising his daughter Stormy to be a true cowgirl."

Bill Markgraf, a former chief, remembered his first meeting with Britt many years ago.

"He had a cowboy hat, cowboy vest, he had cowboy boots he even had a cowboy belt buckle. See you couldn't help but think, 'what's this cowboy want?' And he said 'chief, I want to become a part of the Columbia Fire Department.'"

Markgraf said he had no idea at that time the impact Britt would have over the years.

Britt died working on the scene of a structural collapse at University Village Apartments. An eyewitness reported Britt was walking on a partially collapsed, second story balcony when it fell in on him.

His obituary reads: "Bruce was a good man with a kind heart who would help anyone in need and he stood for the truth. He had an incredible, gentle spirit behind the rough exterior and was a fierce defender of family and friends. All kids should be lucky enough to grow up with such a man in their life, and any adult would be blessed to have such a brother or friend."

The last alarm for Britt sounded at 11:19 a.m., with the ringing of a bell.

Below is full video of the procession and memorial service as it aired on KOMU 8 News.

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol has confirmed it has fired Trooper Anthony Piercy. KOMU 8 spoke to... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:42:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - St. Louis officers arrested a suspect that was on the run in a duplex on Sears Court in... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:29:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The application for the top education position in the state, Missouri State Education Board Commissioner, opened Friday leaving... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:02:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
BLUE SPRINGS (AP) — A commercial real estate records company based in suburban Kansas City has abruptly shut down, leaving... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 7:42:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Department say a house fire that killed a cat Friday afternoon started in the kitchen.... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 7:29:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - For the past six years Ryan Shultz, the creator/owner of the Candy Cane Crib, has shared a well-lit... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 7:17:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said around half of adults in the U.S. struggle with understanding... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 6:00:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in Continuous News
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A Blue Springs, Missouri, man has pleaded guilty to kidnapping and raping a sheriff's deputy... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 4:51:08 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Ten people are facing federal indictment in a $5.4 million methamphetamine distribution conspiracy. ... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 4:07:15 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Several new businesses will open in Columbia at the start of the new year. Wheely's Cafe, a... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 3:49:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in Continuous News
INDEPENDENCE - Police have now cancelled an endangered silver advisory for a 73-year-old woman with dementia who might have been... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 3:43:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The Jefferson City Public School Boundaries Committee began discussions on boundary lines for the city’s new high... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 3:29:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT - Holts Summit's board of aldermen met Thursday night to discuss creating a city-owned shelter. Currently, the... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 3:07:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
SEDALIA (AP) — The former administrator of an ambulance service in central Missouri has pleaded guilty to embezzling more... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 2:52:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police said a 42-year-old woman went missing Friday morning and was considered at risk because of medical conditions.... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 2:11:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Some HIV-positive patients in nearly half the counties in Missouri will lose health insurance coverage next... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 1:02:12 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A 37-year-old man is charged in the shooting of two suburban St. Louis police officers who... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 12:28:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
MONTGOMERY CITY - The Montgomery County Coroner's office is investigating how a person died after a house fire Thursday afternoon... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 12:15:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 34°
8am 37°
9am 42°
10am 46°
11am 50°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today Weekend
8:30a
Naturally, Danny Seo
9:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
7:00a
Championship Wrestling From Hollywood
8:00a
Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan: Family Edition
8:30a
Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan: Family Edition

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Will & Grace
7:30p
Superstore
8:00p
Dateline NBC
9:00p
Saturday Night Live
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld