Lansing Fire Station loses long time friend who visited station for more than 60 years

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– The Lansing Fire Department is missing someone extra special today, after long time friend, Tony Tumminello, passed away Thursday night.

Tony had been coming to Fire Station #1 in Lansing everyday, for more than 60 years, and decades worth of memories.

“He would always get on the PA system and say ‘chows on’ ‘chows on’ that was his thing,” said engineer at the Lansing Fire Station #1, Justin Conklin.

But there was a lot of things that were ‘his thing.’

“We all got together and we played jokes on him and he would joke with us and everything but it was everyday, everyday he was here with us,” said Mike Potter, a firefighter with the Lansing Fire Department.

“He always had this phrase when he didn’t want to hear what you were saying, he would say ‘who tony?’ and he would act like he wasn’t in the room or act kind of child like,” added Ralph Ortiz, the chief of EMS operations at Lansing Fire Station #1.

Tony had a mental disability, but it never stopped him from visiting everyday… Tony was always there.

“You know you would come back from a bad call and everything and he’d be here and he just was in a good mood,” said Potter.

And Tony put his time in.

“We gave him this helmet, this is something we give people that retire after a full career, he’s at least two full careers,” said Ortiz.

Tony’s helmet at the fire station

A few years ago, people at the station had to learn to live without Tony. He was placed into a nursing home.

“From there, you know things were always different you know,” said Conklin.

The news of Tony passing Thursday night, left a feeling of heartache throughout the station.

“I spent a lot of time, we all spent a lot of time with him when he was down here so it’s sad thing,” said Potter. “It is kind of like losing someone that we’ve known and worked with our whole career,” added Ortiz.

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