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WINNABOW, NC (WWAY) -– Robert Kye started at the Winnabow Volunteer Fire Department when he was 15 years old, and 50 years later his passion for firefighting still burns bright.

“It’s a great career, volunteer or paid either one,” Kye said. “It brings a lot of challenges, but it has a lot of rewards, and it’s something that you can do for your community. It just takes a special person to do it.”

For his 50 years of service Kye received a commendation from the North Carolina Senate and General Assembly. Kye was also bestowed with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by Gov. Bev Perdue.

Friends say these awards are well deserved, but they’re truly the ones that are getting rewarded by simply knowing Kye.

“If a person’s in need, Robert is a person that you want as a friend,” Okey Mullins said. “There’s nothing that he hides, because he does it from his heart. The world needs a lot more people like Robert Kye. I would be proud to call him my neighbor any time.”

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