Former Donaldsonville fire chief passes away

Wade McIntyre
Kirk Landry

DONALDSONVILLE – Former Fire Chief Kirk Landry died Friday and the parish coroner’s office is performing an autopsy on his body, the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Department confirmed Monday.

Few details were available Monday as to the circumstances and cause of death.

He was found at his house and EMS emergency services responded to the scene.

Landry, 51, was not feeling well according to a fire department official and declined to go to dinner with his girlfriend Friday evening. The girlfriend went to dinner without Landry, and upon her return found him and called EMS.

Landry passed away after being transported to Prevost Memorial Hospital.

The body has been taken to Ourso Funeral Home in Donaldsonville.

Landry was a 1975 graduate of Ascension Catholic High School in Donaldsonville, and a member of the 1973 state championship football team.

He was a historian, musician, thespian, teacher and firefighter. He attended the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD, and at one time in his career held the most certifications offered by the LSU Fire Academy.

Landry’s keen interest in historic Donaldsonville and Ascension Parish led him to self-publish well received books and calendars that featured antique post cards that he collected.

Landry served as the city fire chief until being accused in 2004 and later convicted of filing false reports to help the city get a lower fire insurance rating.

Landry’s friend and successor as Donaldsonville Fire Chief Chuck Montero said last Monday afternoon that friends and town officials were working on the former chief’s obituary at the Chamber of Commerce office on Railroad Avenue.

The former fire chief was a talented singer and guitarist in the bands “The Night Flyers,” “Kirk and the Jerk” and the “Dick Nixons.” His band performed with the “Red Hot Chili Peppers,” “Cowboy Mouth,” “Mojo Nixon” and others.

Landry was a part-time host for KKAY-AM 1590 radio in Donaldsonville. He will no doubt be long remembered as a founding member of the notorious Morons of the Shemp Festival that reaped national attention with the largest pie fight in the southern Unites States.

St. Amant Fire Volunteer Fire Department Chief James LeBlanc remembered Landry in an e-mail Sunday morning as a man who contributed greatly to the fire service in Ascension Parish and the State of Louisiana.

“Kirk was a man that embraced everything he did or was part of with a passion known only to a few,” LeBlanc said. “He took great pride in his family, his friends, and his community.”