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Firefighter Bobby Bell retiring after 39 years

FAITHFUL FIREFIGHTER – Bobby J. Bell will end his career when he retires next week from the Levelland Fire Department. Bell has served 39 years with the department, including six months as a volunteer firefighter. He has no particular plans scheduled and says he will take it easy for a while. (Staff Photo)

Bobby J. Bell got to go on his first fire run when he was eight years old.

He accompanied his father, volunteer firefighter T.J. ‘Sonny’ Bell, on a storage building fire. 
Bell was hooked.

One of the city’s most  longstanding firefighters, he will hang up his bunker gear and retire Thursday, March 27.

‘I had wanted to be a fireman ever since I was little,’ Bell said.

He had decades of tradition to follow before becoming a paid firefighter.

‘Since 1927 until now, there has always been a Bell on the fire department,’ he said.

His grandfather, O.V. Bell, started the department in 1927. The group of volunteers relied on an early pumper, a 1923 Seagraves, that was kept at Birdwell Garage on Houston Street.

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