INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Former Indianapolis Fire Department Chief Brian L. Sanford died Monday following a battle with ALS. He was 59 years old.
IFD says Sanford passed away peacefully shortly after 3 p.m. while surrounded by family. He spent 32 years on the fire department before retiring in December 2015.
“Brian was an excellent fire chief, but he was an even better man,” current IFD Chief Ernest Malone said in a statement. “The relationships he forged and the people he touched throughout his time in the fire service will forever be remembered as he continues to watch over us each and every day. All of us are better for knowing him – I know I am.”
Sanford was a lifelong Hoosier. Born in Hancock County, he grew up on a dairy farm and graduated from Mount Vernon High School.
He was diagnosed with ALS in June 2011.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett issued the following statement after the death of Sanford:
Today, we join the Indianapolis Fire Department as they mourn one of their organization’s great leaders. Brian Sanford was a remarkable chief, a dedicated public servant, and a mentor to so many in the department. His leadership and presence will be missed, but his legacy will live on through the work of the men and women of IFD. Together, all of us in Indianapolis and throughout Indiana, keep his wife Diane, his children, and grandchildren in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Visitation will be Thursday between 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at the Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Center, Washington Park East Community Life Center. It is located at 10722 E Washington St.
A memorial service will be held Friday with a 9:00 a.m. viewing followed by the service at 10:00 a.m. at Indian Creek Christian Church, located at 6430 S. Franklin Rd.