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Firefighters from Upshur and Lewis counties created this ceremonial arch to honor the life of Pete Rice Tuesday. Rice was a founding member of the Warren District Volunteer Fire Department, according to his obituary.

Firefighters pay tribute to fallen Hodgesville firefighter with ceremonial arch

BUCKHANNON – County and city firefighters and community members honored the life of C. A. “Pete” Rice Jr., a founding member of the Warren District Volunteer Fire Department, Tuesday.

Firefighters gathered in front of the Donut Shop on Route 20 to create a ceremonial arch for his funeral procession with ladder trucks from the Buckhannon Fire Department and the Weston Fire Department.

Rice, 67, of Buckhannon, W.Va., died Tuesday, January 12, 2021, at the United Hospital Center in Bridgeport, W.Va., according to his obituary.

John Brugnoli, career firefighter with the BFD, said the arch is a way to show respect to a brother firefighter.

“We consider everybody brothers, so we have Weston here helping us,” Brugnoli said. “It’s really just out of respect for the passing of a fellow member of the fire department. It’s something we’ve always done, and it’s a nationwide honor. We have the ladders, not crossing and there’s no flag between them. Sometimes, you will see the ladders crossed and if you see the ladders crossed, that means it was a line of duty death. If you see them with a flag hanging below them, that means they were a veteran.”

According to his obituary, Pete was a meat cutter and loved attending church at the Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church. He was a founding member of the Warren District Volunteer Fire Department and volunteered with them for over 40 years. Pete loved hunting, fishing, camping and spending time with his granddaughters.

Read the full obituary for Rice here.

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