NewsLafayette Parish


Lafayette Fire Department Honors late Chief Keith Sonnier

Posted at 8:36 PM, Oct 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-19 21:36:53-04

The Lafayette Fire Department, family members, and others who are thankful for his service are honoring late Fire Chief Keith Sonnier.

They gathered at the Cajundome Convention Center Tuesday to remember the man they say was not only a fire chief, but someone who was passionate about serving his community.

“Keith was the type of person that you would be able to call on for anything at any time of the day or night. He was always the first person there,” cousin of the late Fire Chief, Kimberly Sonnier, said.

Dozens of people gathered to honor Sonnier's life and service.

Chief Sonnier was carried on a fire truck caisson with the Honor Guard. The public was asked to line the route to pay their respects. The procession included a salute at the Fire Prevention Bureau and at the Central Fire Station on E. Vermillion Street.

Fire Chief Robert Benoit of the Lafayette Fire Department says Sonnier was a great humanitarian who had a passion for public service.

“What people are going to remember about Keith is that you always knew he was a happy person. Regardless of what was going on in his life or his family life or what was going on in the organization. If you had a conversation with Keith, he was positive, he had that smile, and he let you know that I’m happy regardless of what’s going on,” Benoit said.

According to the department, Sonnier was an active firefighter with over 33 years of service.

Sonnier started off in fire suppression with the Lafayette Fire Department. He then went on to pursue fire prevention and became a fire inspector, inspecting schools across the Lafayette Parish School System.

“He would help every soul that he possibly could and people realized that from the dignitaries of the Lafayette Fire Department. Through parts of the state, the chief was well known and respected throughout the Parish of Lafayette,” Sonnier's cousin said.

Family members tell us they want the public to remember him as a caring and passionate family man with a heart of gold who will truly be missed.

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