Colleagues remember former chief of Cave Spring Volunteer Fire Department

By Irisha Jones - Reporter

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va.- - Colleagues honor the memory of a former Roanoke County volunteer fire chief who died last week.

John King was known for more than putting out fires,

Even after King's 40 years of service to the Cave Spring Volunteer Fire Department, the former chief would still stop by the firehouse to chat with his second family.

"To grab coffee and to watch the news programs in the mornings and just to converse with some of the older volunteers that have retired from service but still like to hang around," said current Fire Chief John Chambliss. 

King was the chief when he joined the department as a volunteer in 1997.

"Humble demeanor that he had. He had a quiet disposition. He was able to listen to people and take both sides of a situation and come to a good conclusion," said Chambliss. 

Tom Bier also worked with King, as a career captain in the late 1990s.  

"We had a real good working relationship. I thought the world of John. I thought the world of John," said Bier. 

Bier said King made it easier for him to do his job. 

"Two leaders of two organizations sort of sharing the same building. We occasionally had rough patches but John was always fair" said Bier.

Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Department Chief Stephen Simon started out at the station as a paramedic firefighter. He said King's legacy will live on through the lessons he taught him.      

"To be friendly and not take things personally. His compassion and love to people. He did not have a evil bone in his body, and that's what he passed on to me, that you can agree to disagree but you don't have to be disagreeable about it," Simon said. 

King's legacy will also live on through his son Brandon King, a captain at the same station where his father was volunteer chief.
   
A memorial service celebrating King's life is set to take place Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Penn Forest Christian Church in Cave Spring.