Former fire chief dies

Published 9:29pm Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A 31-year veteran of the Atmore Fire Department died Tuesday afternoon.

Retired Assistant Fire Chief Mike Staples was doing handywork on a local apartment complex when he complained of sickness and had an ambulance called, said Atmore Fire Chief Gerry McGhee.

He said he wasn’t sure of the cause of death.

McGhee said Staples retired from the department in August of 2012 after 31 years of service.

“I promoted him from firefighter to captain and from captain to assistant chief,” McGhee said. “Me and him were real close.”

McGhee said even though Staples had retired he would still come by the department and “shoot the breeze” with his former colleagues.

“He still visited a lot even after he retired,” McGhee said. “He’d talk about fishing and hunting.”

McGhee said his presence would be missed around the fire station.

“He was a fine fellow,” McGhee said. “He was a good captain and a good assistant chief. Everyone worked well with him.

It was a shock when he decided to retire,” he added. “He’ll be well missed.”

Staples leaves behind a wife, Haley, and children, McGhee said.

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