McDONALD, Pa. (KDKA) – The chief of the McDonald Volunteer Fire Department was killed in an explosion in West Virginia.

Scott Albertini was a 35-year member of the fire department and worked his way up to become the chief.

“He was an EMT, He also was very active all of his career,” said Joe Rehak, president of the McDonald Volunteer Fire Dept. “He came up through the ranks as a second lieutenant, first lieutenant, captain, assistant chief and now he was the chief.”

Albertini, 53, was killed and another person was injured Tuesday morning in an explosion at the Midland Resource Recovery plant in Barbour County, West Virginia.

Reports indicate a chemical used to give natural gas an odor, spilled, as contractors were working on a tank from a deadly explosion last month at the same plant.

Albertini’s fellow firefighters are devastated by the loss.

“Terrible, tough, it’s tough,” added Rehak, who worked close with Albertini. He described the father of two and grandfather of three as “very dedicated to the department and to the community.”

Rehak told KDKA’s Lisa Washington “My fondest memory is his wedding. I was at his wedding. He was a member when he got married, naturally, and he invited most of the company to the wedding. It showed his dedication to the company and his closeness with the people here.”

Albertini’s helmet and fire gear is still hanging inside the McDonald fire station. His fellow firefighters are holding on to the memories of their friend and chief.

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Lisa Washington