Wheeling fallen firefighters honored on 30th anniversary of tragedy

Wheeling

WHEELING, W. Va. (WTRF) It’s been 30 years since Wheeling Assistant Fire Chief Robert Foster was killed in the line of duty in a fire in Center Wheeling.

His family, colleagues and members of the public gathered at Wesbanco Arena Friday afternoon to honor Foster and nine other firefighters who died while doing their job over the years.

Speakers noted that while this past year has been challenging, the Wheeling Fire Department has worked through other pandemics including the 1918 Spanish flu.

In 150 years as a department, they’ve had only 16 fire chiefs.

This year, Cliff Sligar, a chief of 24 years who shaped the fire department into what it is today, passed away.

His widow placed flowers at the base of the Firefighters’ Memorial monument outside Wesbanco Arena.

When this memorial event was started five years ago, Assistant Chief Robert Foster’s widow Peggy had said she didn’t want anyone to forget Bob.

So the event is held on October 29 each year, to remember his ultimate service and sacrifice.

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