Fallen Firefighter Remembered as Hero, Cowboy and Man of Honor

3 years 4 weeks 1 day 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
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
LADUE, Mo. (AP) — Authorities in suburban St. Louis say a man found dead inside a van was wanted for... More >>
10 minutes ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 10:37:00 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Fire investigators in Kansas City, Missouri, are trying to pinpoint what sparked a three-alarm blaze... More >>
32 minutes ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 10:15:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis County police say the shooting deaths of a former couple found outside a home... More >>
44 minutes ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 10:03:00 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A 26-year-old man jailed on $200,000 bond after being accused of drunkenly causing a Kansas... More >>
51 minutes ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 9:56:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Sentencing is scheduled for this summer for a Missouri home health care worker who admitted in... More >>
1 hour ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 9:46:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis church pastor is accused of sexual misconduct with a teenager. St. Louis... More >>
1 hour ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 9:40:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri branches of the Job Corps program are meeting at the capitol for the first time... More >>
3 hours ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 7:32:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
BOONE COUNTY – The I-70 bridge over the Missouri River near Rocheport will be down to one lane until Wednesday... More >>
12 hours ago March 27, 2017 Mar 27, 2017 Monday, March 27 2017 Monday, March 27, 2017 10:02:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri man who for more than a decade envisioned crisscrossing the United States by... More >>
13 hours ago March 27, 2017 Mar 27, 2017 Monday, March 27 2017 Monday, March 27, 2017 9:44:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — As Kansas City deals with gray areas in herbal supplements and regulated pharmaceutical medication, the... More >>
13 hours ago March 27, 2017 Mar 27, 2017 Monday, March 27 2017 Monday, March 27, 2017 8:53:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A man wounded while trying to intervene in an apparently racially motivated shooting at a... More >>
14 hours ago March 27, 2017 Mar 27, 2017 Monday, March 27 2017 Monday, March 27, 2017 8:18:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri House members are trying to ban local lobbyists from giving gifts to elected officials,... More >>
15 hours ago March 27, 2017 Mar 27, 2017 Monday, March 27 2017 Monday, March 27, 2017 7:42:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri House members are advancing a proposal to spend roughly $242 million more than expected... More >>
15 hours ago March 27, 2017 Mar 27, 2017 Monday, March 27 2017 Monday, March 27, 2017 7:34:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Republican Gov. Eric Greitens is signing a bill to change the standard for vetting... More >>
15 hours ago March 27, 2017 Mar 27, 2017 Monday, March 27 2017 Monday, March 27, 2017 7:26:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - An expansion joint on the I-70 Rocheport Missouri River Bridge popped up Monday causing multiple flat tires, according... More >>
16 hours ago March 27, 2017 Mar 27, 2017 Monday, March 27 2017 Monday, March 27, 2017 6:27:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - With the second half of the 2017 Missouri legislative session officially underway as of Monday, here is... More >>
16 hours ago March 27, 2017 Mar 27, 2017 Monday, March 27 2017 Monday, March 27, 2017 6:10:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri House members are trying to ban local lobbyists from giving gifts to elected officials,... More >>
16 hours ago March 27, 2017 Mar 27, 2017 Monday, March 27 2017 Monday, March 27, 2017 5:51:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities said two people have been found dead inside a Kansas City home after a... More >>
17 hours ago March 27, 2017 Mar 27, 2017 Monday, March 27 2017 Monday, March 27, 2017 5:40:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 53°
11am 53°
12pm 55°
1pm 57°
2pm 59°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
10:00a
Jerry Springer
11:00a
Jerry Springer
12:00p
Jerry Springer

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
8:01p
Trial & Error
8:30p
Trial & Error
9:00p
Chicago Fire
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld