Memorial service honors firefighter Lt. Bruce Britt

Feb 27, 2014

A memorial service was held at The Crossing Thursday in honor of Lieutenant Bruce Britt, who served on the Columbia Fire Department for 23 years and died in action last weekend.

Lt. Bruce Britt was known for living selflessly, and he died selflessly. Alive in Christ Pastor Tim Morris spoke at the memorial service.

“That willingness to go to any length to rescue others and even lay down his life. That’s what we see in Bruce’s sacrifice," Morris said. "That’s why we want to honor all of those who are willing to lay down their life for us, perfect strangers, because you see in Bruce, we get that glimpse of what Jesus has done for all of us."

Keith Simon, a pastor at The Crossing, stated Lt. Britt's wife, Leigh, and his sister, Heidi, said while Lt. Britt was a husband, father and fireman, the main thing they want people to remember is that in the last few years he had become a Christian.

Rachel Smith, a Columbia fire engineer, had one word to describe Lt. Britt:

“Big-hearted. He’s a very loving, caring individual. [He] cared for all of his friends and family very much, especially his fire department family,” Smith said.

Lt. Keith Dothage said being a fireman means you’re a part of a brotherhood that’s hard to describe. He worked alongside Lt. Britt in the Columbia Fire Department for 23 years.

Lt. Dothage said he doesn’t want to anyone to ever forget Lt. Britt, but said Lt. Britt would have wanted the fire department to go back to serving the community.

“He would have been very embarrassed by the amount of attention that he’s getting for this," Lt. Dothage said. "But he also would have been the first person to stand up and say we need to honor, if it was another person, we need to honor them, we need to do it right, and we need to do it now. And then we need to go back to work because there [are] still people that need help out there."

On Saturday, Lt. Britt died after a second-story walkway collapsed at University Village Apartments while he was helping people evacuate.

According to a press release, Lt. Britt is survived by his wife, Leigh; daughter, Stormy Ann; sons, Paden and Ethan; mother, Wanda; two sisters, Heidi and Kristi; and four nephews, Clay, Kenyon, Avery and Chase.