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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.”