MALDEN, W.Va. (WOWK) – 50 years ago William “Squeak” Peterson officially started his fire service career at the age of 15.
“He’s the kind of guy that will leave the best day of his life if he can make a difference on the worst day of yours,” says Petersons daughter, Kristy Peters.
Peterson says his career started long before that, “Somebody said earlier it was instilled in me and I think that may be true I think maybe the good Lord put me on this earth to help.”
That is what brought a room full of people to tears, the dedication and service of one man.
“You’d be sitting in the middle of the preacher preaching and then if the tones drop the guys got out and went,” says Peters.
Chief Peterson received numerous awards from a golden ax to a proclamation from the Governor, but what hit home most were the words from his family.
“That’s who my daddy is, he has always been my hero and you can probably ask just about anyone out there, and they would tell you the same thing,” says Peters
“He’s molded me in my life and made me a successful part of society,” adds Malden Assistant Fire Chief, Bradley “Sparky” Scott.
For the people celebrating that day, ‘family’ doesn’t always mean you’re related.
“Half the valley probably calls him either dad or pawpaw because that’s who he is,” says Peters.