Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lutz fire station renamed in honor of leader

LUTZ — Lance Bartlett and some friends camped inside Fire Station 24 when it first opened more than 30 years ago.

Bartlett played in a park across the street with his friends. When the bell sounded, he helped push-start "Suzy," the orange grove truck converted to a pumper long employed by the Lutz volunteer firefighters.

It was Leslie "Uncle Pete" Dennison who helped get Bartlett, a captain and 32-year veteran with Pasco Fire Rescue, his start.

"They had to let us volunteer because we were going to be hanging out anyway," Bartlett said.

Dennison, who had battled diabetes and skin cancer, died in January of complications from antibiotic treatment. This week, Hillsborough County renamed Fire Station 24 in his honor.

Hillsborough Commissioner Mark Sharpe and Fire Rescue Capt. Bill Nesmith were among more than 100 friends, relatives, neighbors and firefighters at the Monday morning ceremony in a truck bay at the station.

A new bronze plaque and an aged picture of Dennison were positioned at opposite sides of the podium.

Being one of the first to stay at the station when it was first built, Bartlett described coming to the dedication as "full circle."

Nesmith said it was fitting to name the station for Dennison, someone who helped get so many firefighters their start.

"He touched a lot of people," Nesmith said. He said it was even rarer to see a volunteer put in the service Dennison did.

Dennison joined the force in 1973 after his own house caught fire. He served as chief and as president of the fire association. He was Lutz guv'na in 1993.

Jared Leone can be reached at (813) 269-5314 or

Lutz fire station renamed in honor of leader 06/26/08 [Last modified: Thursday, June 26, 2008 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. All of Puerto Rico without power in Maria's brutal wake


    SAN JUAN — Hurricane Maria's ferocious winds continued strafing Puerto Rico late Wednesday morning, shearing off roofs, cutting power to nearly the entire island and pushing rivers over their banks.

    Rescue vehicles from the Emergency Management Agency stand trapped under an awning during the impact of Hurricane Maria, after the storm  hit the eastern region of the island, in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Maria has lost its major hurricane status, after raking Puerto Rico. But forecasters say some strengthening is in the forecast and Maria could again become a major hurricane by Thursday. [Carlos Giusti | Associated Press]
  2. Obamacare repeal bill offers flexibility and uncertainty


    The latest Republican proposal to undo the Affordable Care Act would grant states much greater flexibility and all but guarantee much greater uncertainty for tens of millions of people.

  3. Manafort offered to give Russian billionaire 'private briefings' on 2016 campaign, report says


    Less than two weeks before Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination, his campaign chairman offered to provide briefings on the race to a Russian billionaire closely aligned with the Kremlin, the Washington Post reports.

    Paul Manafort, then Donald Trump's campaign chairman, talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. [Associated Press]
  4. Tampa girl, 4, dies of gunshot reaching for candy


    TAMPA — One day last week, 4-year-old Yanelly Zoller reached into her grandmother's purse looking for candy, her father says.

    Nelly Zoller snuggles with her grandfather's dog, Venus. Her father says she went looking for candy in her grandmother's purse and found a gun instead. [Facebook]
  5. Mikhail Sergachev begins real Lightning audition vs. Carolina Hurricanes

    Lightning Strikes

    RALEIGH, N.C. — The spotlight will remain on Mikhail Sergachev throughout the Lightning preseason.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) on the ice during hockey training camp in preparation for the 2017-2018 season in Brandon Friday morning (09/15/17). DIRK SHADD   |   Times