Longtime Benwood Fire Chief, Michael J. Smith, passed away Monday at the age of 81.

Mike served 54 years as fire chief, which made him the longest active fire chief in West Virginia.

On June 5, 2021, the Benwood Fire Department presented Mike was a plaque of appreciation and named him ‘fire chief for life.’

West Virginia Governor, Jim Justice, awarded Mike the Distinguished West Virginian Award in 2017, the award honors a citizen’s service to West Virginia, is the highest award that can be presented to a citizen by the Governor.

Mike dedicated a total of 64 years of service to the Benwood Fire Department.

Funeral arrangements for Mike Smith will be at the Altmeyer Funeral Home Wednesday 4 to 8, Thursday 12 to 8, Friday morning 9 am, funeral home mass 10 am St. John church in Benwood

Fireman service Thursday at 7:30 pm.