West Virginia fire department sells bourbon in fundraiser to honor late chief

JANE LEW, W.Va. — A West Virginia fire department has found a new way to say hail to the chief.

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A fundraiser by the Jane Lew Volunteer Fire Department, which has been in the works for a year, has finally begun,

One brand approved by the fire department is marked with a white-and-yellow sticker on its side. Fittingly, the brand is called “The Chief,” WBOY-TV reported. The brand is being sold by the Lewis County Liquor Store, with proceeds benefiting the fire department.

“The Chief” is Eddie Taylor, who died Oct. 6, 2021, after battling cancer, WDTV reported. He was 51.

“He was the life of the party. He had a personality that just drew everybody to him, and one of the many things that he enjoyed in life was a good bourbon,” J.D. Miller, a Jane Lew firefighter, told WBOY. “The biggest thing, obviously, is drink responsible. Otherwise, you’ll be seeing us in an unfortunate situation that nobody wants.

“You know, we’re not trying to promote irresponsible actions for folks that are 21 and above, you know, we just … have a drink with the chief, that’s kind of the thought.”

The bourbon costs $59.35 per bottle, the fire department said in a Facebook post. The barrel that was hand-picked by fire department officials produced 156 bottles, WBOY reported.

“Bottles have our hand-drawn letterhead that was drawn by Weston’s own Dom Tucci in the 1950s,” the fire department wrote on Facebook.

Taylor joined the fire service in 1991 and was the chief for Jane Lew’s volunteer department for a decade, WDTV reported.