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Memorial for fallen Columbia firefighter includes stirring tributes

The memorial service for fallen firefighter Lt. Bruce Britt ended around 11:30 Thursday morning, after remarks from city officials including Mayor Bob McDavid and Columbia Fire Chief Chuck Witt, along with former longtime chief, Bill Markgraf.

A 6-mile procession traveled down the Business Loop to Providence and ended at The Crossing Church off Rock Quarry Road near Grindstone Parkway just before 10 a.m.

The memorial service featured speeches from Britt’s former pastor Art Barkey, who spoke of Britt’s character, saying Britt’s faith led him into the firefighting profession.

Friend Tim Morris said Britt’s “actions spoke volumes”, noting that Britt was a “big, strong, cowboy who always had a beautiful little girl attached to him.”

The service concluded with the “Lord’s Prayer,” sung by Randy Boehm, former Columbia police chief.

Columbia Fire Chief Chuck Witt presented Britt’s widow, Leigh, with an American flag at the end of the service.

Columbia firefighters rang a bell three times, followed by Britt’s last call by 911 operators at 11:19 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Edward Jones 3305 East Clark Lane, Columbia Mo., for the “Stormy Britt Memorial Fund”, for Lt. Britt’s daughter.

On a nationwide level, memorials can also be sent to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Hal Bruno Camp, at P.O. Drawer 498, Emmitsburg, MD 21727.

Lt. Bruce Britt was killed while responding to a walkway collapse Saturday morning at University Village apartments near Stewart and Providence roads.

Britt was a 23-year veteran of the department. On Saturday, city leaders ordered flags in the city to be flown at half-staff for the next 30 days in his memory. Gov. Jay Nixon has also ordered flags be flown at half-staff at all government and state buildings in Boone County on Thursday.

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