Fire department honors chief after sudden death

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SIDNEY, Ill. (WCIA) — 59-year-old Earl Bennett died on Wednesday.

He was with the Sidney Fire Department for 32 years and was the chief for ten. His family says it’s unclear what caused his death, but he was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year and was undergoing chemo.

It was too difficult for the Bennett family to speak about him, but his friends and fellow firefighters shared his legacy. Bill Hensch says, “Our fire department was in good hands because earl was dedicated to being a volunteer fireman. He stayed ahead of everything.”

Mike Dilley says, “Earl Bennett’s type doesn’t come around too often. I just told him a while back, he reminds me of a modern Andy Griffith. He never got bent out of shape about anything. He stayed calm and collected and was very humble.”

His funeral will be at 10:00 am on Wednesday at Sidney Christian Church.

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