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Paul F. Cook, 89, of Westwood; retired district chief wrote a memoir about the Boston Fire Department

Mr. Cook, who helped fight the Cocoanut Grove fire in 1942, was proud that no firefighters died at the scene of fires during his tenure as district chief, which began in 1971.
Mr. Cook, who helped fight the Cocoanut Grove fire in 1942, was proud that no firefighters died at the scene of fires during his tenure as district chief, which began in 1971.

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Paul F. Cook’s fascination with the Boston Fire Department began when he was a boy and his family’s home was near the Jamaica Plain firehouse, which came to symbolize his dream of fighting fires.

He started spending time at the firehouse when he was 10, as what was known as a working spark, an unofficial position that included listening to fire calls on the radio and rolling up hoses.

Mr. Cook, a retired district fire chief whose involvement with the department dated to before the Cocoanut Grove fire, died Aug. 4. He was 89, lived in Westwood, and served for more than four decades.

In his memoir “Ready to Roll … Ready to Die,” he called joining the department “the happiest day of my life.”

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