MONTGOMERY, W.Va. — The chief of the Montgomery Fire Department, Benny Filiaggi, died Friday of an apparent heart attack.

A procession was planned to escort Filiaggi’s body to the state Medical Examiner’s Office in Charleston Friday evening.

Filiaggi, a Montgomery native, was sworn-in as chief of the department in 2020. He had been an assistant or deputy chief with the department since 1993. He had nearly 50 years in the fire service.

The fire department’s Facebook page has a black ribbon over the fire department logo.

The Montgomery Fire Department is located near the Fayette-Kanawha county line and responds to emergencies in both counties.

Kanawha County Emergency Management Director C.W. Sigman said it’s a tough loss.

“He’s an icon in the fire service,” Sigman told MetroNews. “He was one of those guys that everybody loved. Most everybody has someone who doesn’t like them but I can’t think of a soul who didn’t like him.”

The Montgomery Herald reported during Filiaggi’s swearing-in in January 2020 that becoming chief was a dream come true for Filiaggi.

“This is something I’ve actually wanted to do for a long time,” Filiaggi said. “I think a lot of you know that.”

Sigman said his institutional knowledge will be impossible to replace.


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