LEWISTON – Lewiston Fire Department’s Larry White worked his last duty day recently, and, as is customary in the fire service, was given his last ride home by his crew in a firetruck, Lewiston’s Engine 4.

White was hired on July 15, 1981, and was immediately stationed on Lewiston’s lead truck, Engine 7, with veterans “Buzzy” Metayer and Larry Roberts. He spent the rest of his career mostly on Engine 5 at Main Street, and on Engine 4 on Sabattus Street.

He remembered his first fire as one on Bartlett Street, but his biggest fire was the “Friends Deli” fire at the corner of Walnut and Bartlett streets.

Some of the close calls he recalls are a ceiling collapsing on him in Auburn, where there was a young boy trapped, and another on College Street, where he took in a lot of smoke as he carried a woman to safety.

Other than that, White said he was fairly fortunate as far as injuries go. The most emotional moments were fatalities, especially when his own crew member, Gerry Desjardins, was tragically killed at an alarm scene.

What White said he’ll miss the most will be the guys, who were like family, sharing everything, even problems.

His plans for the future are to travel to Florida for the winters and live in Maine for the summer at his camp on Lake Annabessacook, Monmouth. He said he’d also like to travel abroad.


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