Colleagues mourn loss

This photo of longtime Reno fire chief Mike Garbacz was taken in January to accompany a story about funding issues being faced by both the Reno and Rocky Grove volunteer fire departments. Garbacz had been the Reno chief for more than 20 years. (File photo by Richard Sayer)

Local volunteer firefighters lost a staple of their tight-knit community Wednesday with the unexpected passing of longtime Reno fire chief Mike Garbacz.

Garbacz, who was 61 and died of natural causes, joined the department in 1977 and had served as chief for more than two decades. He was well-known and respected around Venango County as a fierce champion for both volunteer fire departments and community service.

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