JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Former Powers Fire Chief Ray Melton died Thursday after a brief illness.
Melton was a founding member of the Powers Volunteer Fire Department and also served the City of Laurel as a career firefighter. Powers Fire and Rescue in Jones County announced the death in a Thursday press release.
"Ray was a man's man, a hero, an incredible firefighter, a paint and body shop legend and a man who deeply loved his family both blood and red," the press release read.
Melton built Powers' first fire truck using a beverage truck chassis and a donated three-compartment fuel tanker body.
"Our members mourn with Ray's wife Frances, daughter Suzanne Melton Jones and the entire family during this time of sudden, heartbreaking loss," the release said. "Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time."
The family requests that donations be made to the Powers Fire and Rescue at 1975 Highway 184 in Laurel, Miss. in lieu of flowers.