For once, firemen were actually starting a fire.
The barbecue grilled smoked and sizzled Wednesday as the Grenada Fire Department said goodbye to one of its senior officers.
Battalion Chief Willie Wright hung up his helmet after 40 years of service.
“I’m just honored to be surrounded by family and friends, and when you spend as much time around each other as firefighters do, they become like your family,” said Wright, 60.
Firefighters gathered under a pavilion on the south end of town to cook out, share stories and give Wright his send-off.
Wright started his career with the GFD in 1974. He moved up the promotion ladder quickly, making lieutenant after three years and captain after six.
He was promoted to battalion chief in 2000.
“On several occasions I saw people’s lives saved, and that’s a great feeling,” said Wright.