GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Former Greensboro Fire Chief, Ray K. Flowers, has died at the age of 83, the Greensboro Fire Department has confirmed.

Chief Flowers was the first-ever African-American Greensboro Fire Chief and faithfully served the city for over 37 years.

Chief Flowers first joined the GFD in 1961 after graduating from NC A&T. He was a part of the first group of African-American firefighters ever hired to the GFD and started his career at Station 4 on Gorrell Street.

After serving for 14 years, Chief Flowers earned the rank of captain in 1975. He would only hold that title for four years as he was named Batallion Chief in 1979.

Chief Flowers continued his meteoric rise up the ranks earning the rank of Deputy Chief in 1988 before finally rising to Fire Chief in 1993.

In his youth, Chief Flowers was a driver for Station 7. Fire Station 7 would go on to be dedicated to Chief Flowers’ legacy in December 2021. He was able to attend the event and received the honor with family and friends.

“It is a sad day for the City of Greensboro and the Greensboro Fire Department,” said Greensboro Fire Chief Jim Robinson. “Chief Flowers represents everything that is right with public safety and the Greensboro Fire Department.”