Albert G. Duke, 91, was Buffalo Fire Commissioner during turbulent times

Feb 08, 2019 189

Albert J. Duke took the reins of the Buffalo Fire Department in 1985 during a challenging era, with clashes with the union over training and equipment and with the courts over hiring female and minority firefighters. Five years later, when he stepped down, he was lauded by then-Mayor James Griffin  for his hard work and praised by the then-president of Local 282 of the Buffalo Professional Firefighters Association.

"Yes, we butted heads, but in his 30-some years, he's been a professional," said David Donnelly, who noted that Duke maintained an open-door policy with union officials. Mr. Duke, of Snyder, died on Jan. 31, 2019, in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, where he had been a patient for 10 days.

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