WELLS, Maine — The Fire Chief of Wells died Friday after a battle with cancer in Boston.
Chief Wayne Vetre served the town of Wells for three years after being appointed in 2016.
Town Manager Jonathan Carter wrote in a statement:
"The Wells Fire Department, Wells Board of Selectmen and all Wells municipal employees and the community mourn the loss of Wayne Vetre, Fire Chief who died from cancer on July 5, 2019. Our deepest sympathies to Chief Vetre’s family from an appreciative town and Fire Department eager to have learned and grown in knowledge from a true fire professional wanting the best for Wells."
Carter said arrangements are being made through Bibber Funeral Home and a Wells Fire Department and Public Safety convoy will escort Chief Vetre back to Wells from Mass General in Boston Saturday morning.
Carter said Vetre had been fighting cancer for about one year.
"We had been hoping for the best that a cure would have been had for him," said Carter.
Chief Vetre was not just a figurehead: chief was simply a title, as Vetre frequently hit the road to assist.
Wells Police posted pictures of Chief Vetre keeping the marshes clean from debris.
He also posted his vehicle, with the emergency lights in operation, along Mile Road so that beach cleanup crews were able to safely work at cleaning up the marsh area.
He was also involved in the community, reading to kids as part of Read Across America month.
Chief Vetre previously served with the East Haven Fire Department in Connecticut from 1992-2001. From there he became the Assistant Chief of the Guilford Fire Department. East Haven Fire Department wrote on Facebook Friday night:
"Wayne will always be remembered as a dedicated, knowledgeable firefighter and chief who emphasized on safety and preventive measures to keep his fellow firefighters and their families safe. He lived by his belief that you don’t bring contaminants home to your families. A true firefighters firefighter. Rest easy brother the fire service has lost an icon."
Members from the Guilford and East Haven Departments traveled to Wells for Vetre's swearing in ceremony in 2016.
Chief Vetre's son, also named Wayne, works for the New Haven Fire Department. Chief Vetre recently attended his son's promotion ceremony to Lieutenant.
Firefighters and police officers expect to pass by the Corner Fire Station between 11:30-12:30 as they return with Chief Vetre's body.