Fifth-grader is named Lexington's junior fire chief

A Lexington fifth-grader who was announced Monday as this year's junior fire chief will be the grand marshal of the Fire Prevention Festival and Parade on Sunday.

Darrius Garr, 10, who attends Booker T. Washington Intermediate Academy, became the junior fire chief after winning a poster drawing contest centered on the importance of fire alarms.

In his new yearlong position as junior fire chief, Darrius will help the fire department spread knowledge of fire safety to his schoolmates, Battalion Chief Joe Best said.

As his classmates looked on, Darrius had a badge pinned to his jacket and saluted the crowd, which included his father, Micah.

"I'm ecstatic about it," Micah Garr said. "I am very proud of Darrius."

The new junior chief's week will be full, with tours including Lexington Fire Station 1, Keeneland and Blue Grass Airport. On Sunday, He will get to ride in a horse-drawn carriage at the front of the Fire Prevention Parade.

Darrius said he was most excited about the parade. He also said that he'd been to a firehouse for a field trip in second grade, but he had never been on a one-on-one tour.

"I'm excited for Darrius to get to go to the fire house," principal Wendy Avila said. "He'll get to meet firefighters, and who knows, that may inspire him to become a firefighter."

The runners-up in the poster contest also will get to ride in a fire truck in the parade, said Best, the battalion chief.

The runners-up were fifth-graders Ramon Martinez, Giovanni Perez, Brandy Augilar and Lyric Lilly.

The Fire Prevention Festival will begin at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Courthouse Plaza. The parade will begin about 6:30 p.m.