A BUSY town street came to a standstill as a popular former fireman was giving a fitting send off by colleagues.
Peter Oliver had an accomplished 30-year career with Cleveland Fire Brigade, and was described as an “excellent firefighter” and “home-loving family man”.
Peter died on May 21 after a bacterial infection attacked his heart.
Fire crews from across the Cleveland area formed a poignant guard of honour as the 57-year-old’s coffin was carried into Holy Trinity Church, in Hartlepool’s Davison Drive.
Three fire engines were part of the funeral cortege.
Peter, who lived off Torquay Avenue in Hartlepool but grew up in West View, joined Cleveland Fire Brigade in April 1978 and retired in April 2008, serving mostly at Stranton Fire Station. Peter, along with fellow firefighter Steve Waggott, was awarded the Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation in 1990 for bravery and professionalism in attempting to locate and save a child from a stream in Hartlepool.
He leaves behind his wife of 35 years Gillian, sons Paul, a fireman at Stockton Fire Station, and John, daughter-in-law Gemma, John’s fiancee Chenelle, grandchildren Amelie, nine, and four-year-old Nieve and siblings Malcolm and Joyce.
Dozens of floral tributes were taken to the church for Peter, including a wreath saying simply ‘Dad’. Phil Lancaster, the brigade’s director of community protection, said: “Peter was a very popular character, acting as a mentor to younger firefighters. He was also an active member of the Walking and Mountaineering section of the service. He’ll be remembered as an excellent firefighter in the great traditions of the fire service. I had the great honour and pleasure to serve alongside Peter at Stranton, and our thoughts and prayers go out to Peter’s family and friends at this sad time.”