By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario - It's funny the way life works. According to first-time author Ron Latour, spending 28 years in a fire station is the perfect subject for roasting.
© Adam Brazeau
Ron Latour holds his new book 'A Whole Lot of Smoke...But Not Much Fire.'
The retired Cornwall firefighter is launching his new book 'A Whole Lot of Smoke...But Not Much Fire' on Saturday, May 24 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the RCAFA Wing 424 on Water Street.
The book is roughly 120 pages and costs $28.
Latour, 67, has compiled a long list of zany antics and comical mishaps into a humorous ode to the local fire station he called a second home for nearly three decades.
"What inspired me to write my first book was I wanted to let the people know what we did on our leisure time," said Latour. "But this is the first and only one I'll write. The next story will have to be told by a new generation of firemen."
The concept had been mulling in his mind since his retirement in 1995. Latour filled four cassette tapes full of stories from his long career of fighting fires and the numerous pranks that were pulled at the station in between.
Leaving large windows facing busy roads open while another fireman takes a shower, cementing boots to the floor, and wild inside jokes becoming lifelong nicknames are only a few of the escapades in Latour's book.
"If someone was walking down Pitt Street that day, they would've seen all of me," he laughed.
To help get his story on the page and into the hands of readers, he enlisted Cornwall author Dean C. Swift.
"We worked on this book for two years to make sure it was interesting as well as funny," he said.
Latour's career runs the gamut of emotion with the highs of a brotherhood built on camaraderie over long shift hours and the glory of saving a home for a local family.
But the lows were no joke. Latour still remembered the names of all 11 people who passed away in a fire during his time as a City of Cornwall firefighter.
"To be a fireman you have to have common sense, people rely on you," said Latour.