Former Victoria fire chief Doug Angrove dies at 59

Former Victoria fire chief Doug Angrove has died in Kelowna after being diagnosed with brain cancer.

Angrove’s name will be added to a memorial at city hall that honours firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty.

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Victoria Fire Chief Paul Bruce, who served as a deputy under Angrove, said the type of cancer that struck Angrove is listed as a presumptive occupational disease for firefighters.

Angrove, 59, died on Friday. He was chief from 2006 to 2011.

“His expectations were high,” Bruce said Saturday.

“But additionally, he was the first one there to help you meet those expectations if he knew you were having trouble or falling short.

“He was a good mentor.”

He said Angrove was a strategic thinker, good-humoured, and a devoted family man.

Bruce said Angrove’s legacy includes creating efficiencies within the department and welcoming new technology. He was instrumental in increasing staffing numbers in its suppression division.

During Angrove’s tenure, the department acquired the city’s first multi-purpose fire boat, Bruce said.

Angrove was raised in Esquimalt.

He started his firefighting career in 1979 in Nanaimo, rising to the position of deputy fire chief.

Karen Fry, Nanaimo’s acting fire chief, said Angrove was involved with the professional firefighters union for several years.

“A lot of the way we are doing our operations nowadays can be attributed to his direction and his vision while he was part of Nanaimo. He did some revamping of our communication procedures. He was a very influential, well-liked member of our organization.”

A group of Nanaimo firefighters went to Kelowna recently to visit Angrove, she said.

Angrove worked for the Nanaimo department until 2003, when he was named deputy chief in Victoria.

Upon his retirement, he called for creating regional fire or policing services.

“He was involved in Old Timers Hockey and liked to cycle every day and kayak with his wife Sandy,” daughter Amy said in an email.

In 1977, Angrove was awarded the Peewee Bradshaw Memorial Trophy, handed to the most valuable player on the junior Shamrocks lacrosse team.

He also played on the Victoria Payless lacrosse team.

Bruce said Victoria firefighters will ride from Vancouver to Seattle in August in the “Ride to Conquer Cancer,” raising funds in Doug’s memory.

Besides his wife Sandy and daughter Amy, Angrove is survived by his daughter Jenna as well as four grandchildren, with another due in two weeks. Service details have not yet been announced.

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