Remembering deceased Freeport Fire Chief Brad Liggett

Local News

BELOIT, Wis. (WTVO) — After serving the stateline for more than 30 years, Freeport’s Fire Chief died suddenly over the weekend.

Before leading firefighters in the “Pretzel City,” Brad Liggett spent decades with Beloit’s fire department. The news shocked the Beloit Fire Department’s Deputy Chief Joseph Murray, a former colleague and friend of Liggett, and that long-time friend was not alone. He said that loved ones are still processing Liggett’s unexpected passing, and that the chief leaves behind a strong legacy in the stateline.

“We rode in the ambulance together, worked together at different fires, that kind of stuff,” Murray said. “Obviously, you grow a relationship with people during that time.”

Murray worked alongside Liggett, as the two rose through the ranks, for 25 years.

“We may or may not have participated in a number of pranks around the fire station,” Murray said. “One of the ones I clearly remember is messing with one of our old shift commanders. Tying his chair to the desk, turning his computer off because we had just gotten computers in the station. We had a lot of fun.”

Liggett spent three decades with Beloit Fire, the last 16 years as chief, before he became Freeport’s top firefighter in July of 2019. Beside being a great friend, his leadership skills were on display from day one, according to Murray.

“I think that’s one of the things I really appreciate about the person that he was. He wasn’t one of the types that wanted to hold that information in. He wanted to share it with everybody,” Murray said. “He was very compassionate with people, and understood when people were struggling, and was always willing to take a moment to take the chief badge off and put that aside for a little bit so he could talk to you on a more personal level.”

Murray said that Liggett was heavily involved in several local non-profits outside of the station, including the Salvation Army and Vetsroll.

“He was always one to want and make the community better, and do what he can to help people,” Murray said.

The Beloit and Freeport Fire Departments are working together to finalize funeral arrangements, according to Murray.

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