Former Penfield Fire Chief Thomas Jones Jr. dies at 86

Thomas E. Jones Jr., past Penfield fire chief and fire commissioner. (Penfield Fire Department via Facebook)

PENFIELD, N.Y. — Thomas E. Jones Jr., past Penfield fire chief and fire commissioner, has died at 86.

Jones joined the Penfield Fire Department in 1957 and put in more than 65 years of service, the department noted in announcing his death. He served as fire chief from 1971 to 1973, and then was a fire district commissioner from 1973 to 2009, serving as chairman of the board from 1991 to 2005. According to the department, his tenure as chief saw the opening of Station 2 on Qualtrough Road, and during his time as commissioner he oversaw a building expansion at the Penfield Road station (Station 1) and the construction of two Station 3s including the current one on Penfield Road.

The statement from the fire department reads, in part:

“Those that had the privilege to know Tom, know that he was also the first one to help cook a meal at the fire station, offer a friendly word of encouragement at the end of a call or offer advice on how to improve for next time. Tom was always an active participant in all of our company activities to include meetings, committees, drills and calls. Most mornings, Tom could be found at Station 1 partaking in ‘Coffee Club’ making sure that there was always a fresh pot of coffee brewing for all to gather and enjoy. Tom was the first one to extend a handshake, smile and introduction to new members that joined the fire company. He always wanted to make sure that if you were brand new or had been a member for 50 years, that you felt welcome at the fire station.”