Wayne Prior, a firefighter whom 'everybody loved'

December 16, 1992|By Staff Report

Services for Baltimore City Fire Department Lt. Wayne M. Prior, who was slain late Thursday by an intruder at his home on Allenswood Road in Randallstown, were to be conducted at 7:15 p.m. today at the Macedonia Baptist Church, 718 W. Lafayette Ave.

Lieutenant Prior, 28, was promoted to his final rank and assigned to Aerial Tower 128 on Chesapeake Avenue in Fairfield in July after passing the exam for the job on his first attempt.

He joined the Fire Department in 1987 and was a member of Engine Company 25 at Gold and McCulloh streets until it was disbanded in 1989.

He was soon transferred to Engine 46 at Reisterstown Road and Rogers Avenue -- a bustling firehouse that proved to be his longest assignment in the department, and where he was remembered yesterday as a man who got along with everyone.

"Everybody loved the guy," said Lt. Randy Schmidt, whose responsibility at countless fires was taking the hose nozzle into burning buildings alongside Lieutenant Prior. "He didn't have an enemy in the world," Lieutenant Schmidt recalled. "He was just a friendly guy, always ready to step in and help where help was needed, without complaining."

A sports fan and avid collector of baseball cards, Lieutenant Prior was an original member of the fire house Rotisserie baseball league at Engine 46 -- and was miffed that in each of its three seasons he had finished only in second place, his friend said.

Since his promotion and transfer to Fairfield, Lieutenant Prior had made occasional visits to his friends at Engine 46 -- most recently two weeks ago, when he was also checking up on player trades in the fantasy baseball league.

A Baltimore native, Lieutenant Prior was a 1982 graduate of Randallstown High School.

He held several construction jobs before joining the Fire Department.

He also worked part-time as a clerk at Ames Department stores, first in Randallstown and more recently in Reisterstown.

Lieutenant Prior often rode his bike to work while he was stationed at Engine 46, and he enjoyed working on his lawn.

In 1989, he married the former Elizabeth Diana Chesley, who survives him.

Other survivors include a stepdaughter, Takia Tomika Fisher of Randallstown; his father, Wilbert H. Prior Sr. of Westminster; his mother, Brenda K. Prior of Pikesville; his stepmother, Regina Prior of Westminster; two brothers, Wilbert H. Prior Jr. of Stuttgart, Germany, and Christopher Prior of Westminster; and his grandparents, Maurice and Elaine Gray, both of Baltimore; and William Kyler of Philadelphia and Lucille Prior of Baltimore.

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