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KC fire chief leaving job next month, city announces; interim leader to be named

Kansas City Fire Department responds to house fire on Oak Street

Kansas City Fire Department crews responded to a house fire Sunday in the 5500 block of Oak Street.
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Kansas City Fire Department crews responded to a house fire Sunday in the 5500 block of Oak Street.

Kansas City Fire Chief Gary Reese is leaving his position next month, the city announced Wednesday.

Reese has served as the city’s fire chief for less than two years. His last day on the job will be Sept. 7.

In a news release, City Manager Troy Schulte said: “I’d like to thank Gary for his service to the city as Fire Chief. Being chief is a tough job, and he gave it his all.”

The city said an interim fire chief will be named as a national search gets underway for a new chief.

In March 2018, Reese replaced Paul Berardi, who retired after 32 years with the department.

Reese has spent 24 years with the department, working his way up the ranks. He was a fire truck driver for 14 years and a division chief when he was tapped to lead the department.

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Kaitlyn Schwers covers breaking news and crime at night for The Kansas City Star. Originally from Willard, Mo., she spent nearly three years reporting in Arkansas and Illinois before returning to Missouri and joining The Star in 2017.
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