Two ladder trucks from the Auburn Fire Department hoisted the American Flag over an overpass as firefighters saluted in tribute to the man who served the town of Mexico for 25 years as fire chief.

Chief Gary Wentzel passed away on January 8 at the age of 69 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston where he had been battling the cancer he was diagnosed with in October.

On January 12, Auburn mayor Jonathan Labonte posted a photo to his Facebook page showing two ladder trucks displaying an American flag as firefighters lined the overpass on Center Street near the Auburn Mall as a convoy from Boston brought Chief Wentzel home.

 

According to the Sun Journal, The Mexico fire department decided to dedicate a fire truck to Chief Wentzel in 2014 and numbered it 23, for the years that he had served at that time. As firefighters gathered at the station to remember him, Allen Chartier asked "Should we retire the truck?" to which everyone got a good laugh at as they remembered their chief and good friend.

A memorial service was held for Chief Wentzel on Sunday at the Muskie Auditorium at Mountain Valley High School.