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Fire Station Renamed

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Pleasant Hill station named for fallen firefighter Captain Anthony J. Fiorenza

BY MARCELLE HANEMANN

THE DAILY NEWS

BOGALUSA on August 19, 2003 The Bogalusa City Council voted last night to change the name of the Pleasant Hill Fire Station to the Anthony J. Fiorenza Memorial Fire Station.

Fiorenza was a Bogalusa fireman who lost his life in the line of duty while fighting a fire on July 8, 1968. The council unanimously agreed to honor him with the renaming.

The renaming ordinance stated that Fiorenza had "rendered faithful and able service to the city," and that he had given "unselfishly of his time and effort to his fellow members of the Bogalusa Fire Department and to the citizens of Bogalusa."

Mayor Mack McGehee said the honor had been a long time coming, and that he was delighted, as he was sure Fiorenza's family would be, with the action.

Pleasant Hill station renamed for Anthony Fiorenza

July 08, 2004

BY MARCELLE HANEMANN

THE DAILY NEWS

BOGALUSA "Captain Tony" would have been very proud.

More than 100 people, including state, parish and local dignitaries, interrupted their regular schedules yesterday morning to attend ceremonies dedicating and renaming the Pleasant Hill Fire Station in honor of Captain Anthony J. Fiorenza, who gave his life in the line of duty 36 years ago to the day.

Fiorenza's sister, Mary Dugan-Brignac, said the honoree would probably also be "formulating a good joke about it all."

Many of the family members, friends and former co-workers who spoke during the hour-long event alluded to Fiorenza's love of bringing smiles to everybody he met.

"He was a good person," said one retired firefighter. "He kept you laughing."

"We all loved Tony," said another. "He told a lot of jokes all the time, like the one about..."

The Anthony J. Fiorenza Memorial Station was dedicated in celebration of a life well spent and sadly lost. "Captain Tony" was remembered as a man who loved his job and worked hard to take care of his family and the greater community. He died when a building collapsed on him while he was fighting a fire.

Acting Fire Chief Ronnie Manning said Fiorenza is still remembered fondly by members of the department who speak of him almost daily more than three decades after his death.

"To know him was to love him," said Fiorenza's sister Lena Jacobs. "He brought a lot of light to our lives... He was the best man I ever knew."

Jacobs thanked Mayor Mack McGehee for taking action to have the fire station in which her brother worked renamed in his honor. She thanked the firefighters and others who painted and otherwise worked hard to make the station look nice for the ceremonies. And she thanked the crowd that overflowed the fire engine parking area for honoring her brother with their presence.

Fiorenza's daughter agreed.

"I'm glad you loved my dad," she said.

Fiorenza's son, Anthony Christopher Fiorenza, called his father a "very rare and unique person."

"I am honored the city has bestowed this honor on my dad, who was very humble," he said.

And Chris Fiorenza shared the honor. He said that since Sept. 11, 2001 a new word has been spoken in reference to firefighters. The word is "hero."

"But these guys have always been heroes-from the day they start to the day they retire," said Fiorenza. "We should never forget they are heroes, past and present."

Now anybody who drives past the old Pleasant Hill Fire Station and notices the new name printed in red on its side will be reminded.

Captain Anthony J. Fiorenza was a "true firefighter," said Manning.

By all accounts, "Captain Tony" was a happy, hard-working hero.


Today May Be The Day

They say that we don't do a lot

And sometimes that is true, but

Today may be the day

We give our all for you

We're brothers, sisters, we're firefighters,

The firehouse is our second home they say,

And when the alarm comes in we know,

Today may be the day.

A child trapped where others can't help

Could face a fiery death,

Or someone pinned in a crushed car

Fighting for one more breath.

A family home is burning

A family losing hopes and dreams,

As we make our way through traffic

You hear our siren scream.

At two o'clock in the morning

Or eight o'clock at night,

When fire is taking your belongings

We're a pretty damn good sight.

Freezing or hot or storming

We do our job without thought of pay

We work to help our fellow man

No matter the weather that day.

We learn our jobs by training hard

By books and classes and pain,

We see things that stay with us

In nightmares again and again.

And we know we may not see another day

A lot can quickly go bad

And when we lose a firefighter anywhere

It makes us all so sad.

I'll ask just one thing of you

Please remember us when you pray

`Cause there is always a fire to fight.

And today could be my day.

-- By Chief Ronnie Manning