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Former Corner Brook fire chief Bob Brake remembered as a good man

Bob Brake.
Bob Brake.

The last time Ken Kendall saw Bob (Robert) Brake was not too long ago at his favourite fishing hole near the Humber Village Bridge.

Mr. Brake, a former chief of the Corner Brook Fire Department died Friday. He was 75.

Kendall served with the fire department alongside Mr. Brake for about 30 years.

He said Mr. Brake had already been at the department for a few years when he joined in 1971.

Mr. Brake retired in 2001, three years ahead of Kendall.

Kendall said they worked together quite a bit as both served in various capacities with the firefighters union before Mr. Brake moved up to the management position as fire chief.

“I always found him to be really fair about the union and he had the safety of his men in the uppermost of his mind all the time when he moved into the chief position,” said Kendall.

“He was a great firefighter and a great chief.”

Apart from the connection they shared as firefighters, Kendall and Mr. Brake shared a love of fishing and the outdoors.

While the two never really fished together there were always plenty of stories when they’d be at the station together.

“He would be tying flies and I would be tying flies and we’d be telling lies back and forth for hours,” said Kendall laughing at the memory.

Bob Joseph is the captain of prevention and inspection with the fire department. When he went to work with the department in 1974 Mr. Brake was a lieutenant.

“He was a good fellow. A decent firefighter,” said Joseph. He said everyone he’s talked to has been shocked to learn of his death.

Joseph said Mr. Brake was a big supporter of the activities he was involved in, including the Muscular Dystrophy association and the annual toy drive.

“If there was anything we needed or anything he could do, Bob was there for that.”

Back in those days, Joseph said, a lot of young firefighters were building homes and it wasn’t uncommon for co-workers to lend a hand. Mr. Brake was one of the ones who would be there to help.

“Bob was a pretty good guy and he was always there for a laugh or carrying on. If something bad happened to someone he was there for that part, too. He’d do whatever he could for someone who had something going on.”

Mr. Brake leaves to mourn his wife, Irene, son, David, daughter, Connie, grandsons, Brent and Damien, and other family and friends.

His funeral service will take place on Thursday in the chapel at Fillatre’s Funeral Home on St. Mark’s Avenue.

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