A’burg firefighters mourn loss of one of their own

 

By Joel Charron

The Amherstburg Fire Department is in mourning after not only losing a captain but a close friend.

Fred Dufour. 64, recently lost his life to undisclosed illness, leaving his family and friends devastated in the wake.

A 42-year veteran firefighter, Dufour left behind his wife Elaine, two sons, Shawn and Steven and four grandchildren.

Dufour worked at the SKD plant until it closed.

Nicknamed Fearless, Dufour worked out of Amherstburg Station 2, in the former Anderdon Township.

“He was the type of firefighter you hoped the young guys would turn in to,” said Fire

Fred Dufour planned on retiring following 2012 after serving 42 years on the Amherstburg Fire Department

Capt. and friend Ron Meloche. “He wasn’t afraid of anything.”

Meloche said Dufour was a bit of a jokester, always bringing a smile to people’s faces.  He was also an avid euchre player and often organized tournaments.

“There was never a dull moment when Freddy was around,” said Meloche.

Meloche added that Dufour was the type of person who “couldn’t sit still” and always had to be “hands on” in everything he did.

“We used to tease him by saying that ‘you’re a captain, you’re not suppose to be doing work,” joked Meloche.

Meloche said the 42-year volunteer captain would definitely be missed.

“We’re a family here,” said Meloche. “We spend an awful lot of time together. Some of us have been together for over 20 years. When one of us goes down, it’s painful for all of us. Freddy was like a father to me.”

Meloche said that Dufour planned on retiring from the fire department after this year. He also noted that Dufour would receive a provincial long service medal and a federal exemplary service award at a award banquet held in the spring.

“Fred was a man of principal and sometimes got under the Chief’s skin, but he stood his ground for what he believed in and fought for his fellow firefighters,” said Meloche.

 

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