SUMMERSVILLE, W.Va. — Communities of Nicholas County continue to mourn the loss of Tim Blake, the longtime chief at the Craigsville Volunteer Fire Department.
Blake, who died from a heart attack on Dec. 27, was laid to rest on Tuesday, with a service heavily attended by both community residents and the state’s firefighters.
“Obviously the community is in shock and quite saddened at this great loss,” said Sen. Greg Boso, a volunteer firefighter at Summersville Fire Department. “At the wake Monday night, there were firefighters from all over the state to pay their respects to Tim.”
Firefighting was a large part of Blake’s life, and Boso feels fortunate to have been able to serve beside him on several occassions.
“He was tremendously compassionate, soft spoken, a great mentor, a great coach of younger firefighters,” Boso said. “He was very passionate about making sure that we did what was necessarily to protect people and property from fire and those losses.
“But in addition, Tim was a passionate, loving husband and was married to Patti, who was the deputy chief at CVC fire department.”
Their daughter, Tasheena, is also a part of the firefighter community.
“So they truly love and take care of people within their community. They love doing that,” Boso said.
Additionally, Blake served as the Nicholas County Fire Coordinator on top of his other responsibilities.
“So in that role, he got to know not only people within the firefighting community, but also in the Office of Emergency Services, where he was coordinating efforts on behalf of the firefighter community. He’s been quite involved,” Boso said.
Most recently, Blake served as a temporary firefighter for the West Virginia Division of Forestry, working in forest fire situations during the fall and spring.
Boso, who had known Blake for many years, said the loss came as quite a shock.
“He had not indicated that there were a lot of health issues or concern,” he said. “I had just seen Tim at a meeting that we had here in Summersville just a couple weeks before dealing with firefighting and EMS issues.”
At that meeting, Blake led discussions on changing legislation that would benefit rural fire departments.
“Tim was there and really presented some great information and good thoughts about what the local, small, rural fire department is struggling through in order to retain firefighters,” Boso said.
That kind of leadership is what make Blake not only a great fire chief but a great individual, Boso said.
“Tim will be missed greatly for a number of years, so we just want to continue remember the good times that we had and the times that we laughed,” he said. “Obviously there’s always senaginans that go on around a firehouse and we laughed at those times, and there were times that we cried. We’ll just remember Tim and all those times.”