FAREWELL TO A HERO: Family, friends and fellow firefighters gather to say good-bye to Inspector Chief Keith Sonnier

Lafayette Parish

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) The Lafayette Fire Department said a final farewell Tuesday to one of their own.

Inspector Chief Keith Sonnier passed away suddenly at his home on October 11.

It is evident the type of person Chief Sonnier was for the Acadiana community.

Everyone I talked to since his passing has had nothing but great things to say about him.

“He was truly and honorable man.”

These are the words of Lafayette Fire Chief Robert Benoit, a colleague and long time friend.

The veteran firefighter of over 30 years was honored with a procession involving law enforcement, the honor guard and the Lafayette fire department.

He was then taken to the Cajundome Convention Center where the community he served for over three decades bid a final fairwell to their hero.

Crowds of people gathered forming long lines and everyone having the same memory of the type of man Chief Sonnier was.

“He was a good man. Anybody needed help with anything and he was there to help you. Everybody will miss him.”

Nedra Alexander who works with the Lafayette School System and Dena Nabers, a close family member says the tragedy impacts the entire community.

“This is evident by the people that you see who have gathered to celebrate his life. He gave much to his community and we are all grateful for his presence in our lives. He will be truly missed.”

Alexander says it was his mission to help uplift and inspire kids.

The Lafayette Parish School System will never forget him.

“He would come in and teach the children about fire safety and was just loved by the entire community and LPSS.”

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