Fallen Firefighter Remembered as Hero, Cowboy and Man of Honor

1 year 11 months 2 weeks ago February 27, 2014 Feb 27, 2014 Thursday, February 27 2014 Thursday, February 27, 2014 10:46:00 AM CST in News
By: Annie Hammock, KOMU Interactive Director

COLUMBIA - (Watch video of the full procession and memorial service.) 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
JEFFERSON CITY - All different vendors rented spaces at Capital Mall Trade Days on Saturday. Home baked goods, fashion... More >>
8 hours ago February 13, 2016 Feb 13, 2016 Saturday, February 13 2016 Saturday, February 13, 2016 7:43:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A home in North Columbia was damaged Saturday after a bedroom caught fire. Fire crews were called... More >>
9 hours ago February 13, 2016 Feb 13, 2016 Saturday, February 13 2016 Saturday, February 13, 2016 6:48:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - U.S. Senator Roy Blunt and Missouri Republican Party Chairman John Hancock released statements Saturday on the passing of... More >>
9 hours ago February 13, 2016 Feb 13, 2016 Saturday, February 13 2016 Saturday, February 13, 2016 6:25:00 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis wants to win a $50 million challenge aimed at improving transportation. The city... More >>
10 hours ago February 13, 2016 Feb 13, 2016 Saturday, February 13 2016 Saturday, February 13, 2016 5:56:00 PM CST in News
ST. CHARLES (AP) — A St. Charles County man has admitted in federal court that he sold the heroin that... More >>
10 hours ago February 13, 2016 Feb 13, 2016 Saturday, February 13 2016 Saturday, February 13, 2016 5:51:00 PM CST in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY – Friends of Responsible Agriculture filed a motion for what they said is "another Sunshine Law violation against... More >>
11 hours ago February 13, 2016 Feb 13, 2016 Saturday, February 13 2016 Saturday, February 13, 2016 4:10:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Senate made moves this week to fight back against the number one killer of Americans.... More >>
11 hours ago February 13, 2016 Feb 13, 2016 Saturday, February 13 2016 Saturday, February 13, 2016 4:08:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A University of Missouri researcher has determined that high-impact resistance training in adolescence and young-adulthood increases bone mass... More >>
12 hours ago February 13, 2016 Feb 13, 2016 Saturday, February 13 2016 Saturday, February 13, 2016 3:44:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City woman who worked as a teacher and lived on a pension left $2... More >>
16 hours ago February 13, 2016 Feb 13, 2016 Saturday, February 13 2016 Saturday, February 13, 2016 11:33:39 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — University of Missouri officials say they're looking into whether a graduate student employee union would be legal.... More >>
17 hours ago February 13, 2016 Feb 13, 2016 Saturday, February 13 2016 Saturday, February 13, 2016 11:04:08 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A report on U.S. import and export prices reveals the price of agricultural exports has declined for the... More >>
1 day ago February 13, 2016 Feb 13, 2016 Saturday, February 13 2016 Saturday, February 13, 2016 2:42:00 AM CST in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - Mid County Fire Protection District responded to a residential fire southeast of Camdenton late Friday afternoon. ... More >>
1 day ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 8:06:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Business Loop 70 Community Improvement District, or CID, has applications open for residents, business owners or registered... More >>
1 day ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 7:09:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, announced additional disaster assistance for renters in Missouri affected by... More >>
1 day ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 6:06:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A man is recovering Friday after he jumped into a frozen lake to save the life of his... More >>
1 day ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 4:33:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Kansas City has created a plan in the city budget to tear down about 800 vacant... More >>
1 day ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 4:32:00 PM CST in News
FERGUSON (AP) — Ferguson's mayor says city leaders warned U.S. Department of Justice negotiators last month that they couldn't guarantee... More >>
1 day ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 4:19:22 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia Public Schools will recommend three individuals to fill critical vacancies within the school district to the Board... More >>
1 day ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 3:59:00 PM CST in News
Interactive Radar Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 23°
4am 21°
5am 22°
6am 24°
7am 24°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

3:30 am
Paid Program
4:00 am
CIZE IT UP!
4:30 am
Paid Program
3:30 am
Paid Program
4:00 am
Paid Program
4:30 am
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00 pm
Saturday Night Live
8:00 pm
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
7:00 pm
It Could Happen to You
9:00 pm
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30 pm
Cougar Town