Fallen Firefighter Remembered as Hero, Cowboy and Man of Honor

3 years 8 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 - (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
COLUMBIA - Shots were fired in downtown Columbia early Saturday morning in an area typically packed with late night celebrants.... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, November 18 2017 Nov 18, 2017 Saturday, November 18, 2017 12:49:00 AM CST November 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - One person was hurt in a crash on Stadium Boulevard at the intersections of East Pointe Road and... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 9:12:00 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center off Providence Road caught fire Friday night. A division chief said crews... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 8:19:52 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Each of Missouri’s counties are slating new council members for their MU Extension County Council. The councils... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 6:52:00 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – The Missouri State Highway Patrol will be putting "all available troopers" on the roads over Thanksgiving week. ... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 5:58:00 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Gloomy weather and a possible chance of rain isn't going to stop one Columbia organization from throwing on... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 4:12:00 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
ASHLAND - The approval process took several months, but the process of planning a switch to a new sewage treatment... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 4:00:00 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
KINGDOM CITY - Hatton-McCredie Elementary’s 5th grade class donated $900 to Central Missouri Honor Flight, in honor of a late... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 3:51:00 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Haby Naya grew up in Chad, Africa. She spent lots of her free time braiding hair, anyone’s hair... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 3:45:00 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri prosecutor will not file criminal charges against a Southwest Airlines pilot arrested after... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 3:41:31 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler met with the Columbia Chamber of Commerce Friday to discuss the new tax overhaul known as... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 3:24:00 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man Thursday after a woman said he had sexually assaulted her. According to police,... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 2:42:56 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Housing Development Commission held a meeting with Missouri citizens to share the final decisions for the... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 1:39:00 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis' largest skyscraper is on the market following foreclosure. The vacant 44-story office... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 1:30:48 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
ST. CHARLES (AP) — A judge has agreed to once again push back the trial date for a St. Louis-area... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 1:28:54 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
ST. JOSEPH (AP) — The driver of a stolen vehicle involved in a crash that killed four people has been... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 1:26:19 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police officers will be required each month to read and acknowledge an order reiterating... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 12:48:28 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
DONIPHAN (AP) — Authorities are investigating an unusual drowning in the Current River. The Missouri State Highway Patrol... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 12:44:22 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 64°
5am 60°
6am 58°
7am 54°
8am 48°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

4:00a
LX.TV: 1st Look
4:30a
Paid Program
5:00a
This Week in Mizzou Football
4:00a
Paid Program
4:30a
Paid Program
5:00a
Paid Program

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