'You kind of fall in love with fire fighting'

NORTH BEND, Ore. -- After 60 years of working with the fire service, coastal resident Leroy Griggs said he's ready to retire.

Griggs started volunteering with a fire department at the age of 22. His first fire, he recalls, was in 1952 at the Coquille Community Building.

"You kind of fall in love with fire fighting, and that's just what happened," said Griggs, "It's just one of those things that you get in the mood to do it."

In November of 1963 Griggs moved to North Bend. Two months later he joined the North Bend Fire Department.

"He set the standard for what good looks like in firefighters, and he's just beloved," said North Bend Fire Chief Mark Meaker.

As for what comes next, Griggs plans to spend time with his family at home while keeping an eye on his family in the firefighting community.

"My wife has a lot of things planned for me, to catch up. I'll still come back every once in awhile. I'll do that as long as I can walk," said Griggs.