There weren’t many empty seats or dry eyes on Sunday as hundreds of people gathered to say farewell to Battalion Chief Scott Fraser.
Fire departments from across Western Nevada handled calls while nearly all of the East Fork Fire Protection District staff turned out for the ceremony at TJ’s Corral in Minden.
Those who weren’t in uniform sported Hawaiian shirts, reflecting Fraser’s fondness for Jimmy Buffett.
The 55-year-old died May 17 at his home.
Two helicopters conducted a flyover for Fraser’s service.
Fellow firefighter Paul Washam quoted the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” saying “No man is a failure who has friends,” speaking on Sunday.
“You can look out over this crowd and see that Scott had friends, and a lot of them,” Washam said. “He was there for everybody. He was there to help out and make everybody’s life better.”
Washam called Fraser his friend and brother.
“There was a group of us when we rolled up on a fire, you knew what everybody was going to do,” Washam said. “I’m going to miss the hell out of him.”
Retired Deputy Chief Dave Drew said that in the months after Fraser’s heart attack, people thought he might need a heart transplant.
“The first thing that came into my mind was ‘where are they going to get one that is big enough,’” Drew said. “Scott Fraser was all heart. He was passionate about the people and things that he loved. It was amazing how he doted over his family and his kids.”
Frasers daughters Kelsey Ward and Jenna Fraser spoke about their father.
“My dad encouraged us to be exactly who we wanted to be,” said Ward. “Growing up with a father like him set a high bar to the standards I would hold myself and others to. He taught me that when someone couldn’t meet those standards, you helped them, without any sort of recognition, but because that’s what you’re supposed to do.”
Jenna Fraser said her father wasn’t afraid of anything.
“I remember once when I was a little kid we were sitting outside watching the thunderstorms out of the bed of his truck,” she said. “The storm didn’t seem that close … there was this huge flash of lightning that hit the neighbor’s yard. I ran inside screaming. I turned around to see him grinning ear to ear. He told me how cool it was and how cool it was to see. I remember looking at him and realizing how cool my dad was. He didn’t run from scary things, he ran to them. He faced problems at work, or on a fire or in his life head on, he was brave.”
Retired East Fork Fire Marshal Steve Eisele served as the master of ceremonies.
“I know he missed many special occasions and events in your lives,” Eisele said. “Scott knew the sacrifices you made through the years, he was proud of you and your accomplishments. I will never forget our time together, I will cherish it forever, my brother.”