To follow the same career path of someone you respect, trust and admire, is an ambitious goal; especially when those footsteps are made by the town’s fire chief. At least two families in Cheraw are very familiar with that kind of connection to the cycle of life; the families of both the retiring fire chief, John L. Melton III, and the new fire chief, Chris Sellers.
Melton has had many nicknames over the years, he said, but his newest is “Professor Fire.” That’s because Melton his retired to teach his profession at Cheraw High School this fall. His father, who also served as fire chief was know by most as “White Rat.” And his father, John Laney Melton Sr., was called Laney.
Melton also has a daughter who is a firefighter.
And now Cheraw’s new Fire Chief, Chris Sellers, who has been a full time fireman for the town since 1985, begins another chapter. In fact, his son, Spencer Sellers, will actually be taking classes under Melton for the next four semesters in order to complete his training as a volunteer firefighter by the time he graduates.
Only time will tell if he has ambitions to be chief.
Sellers and his wife, Judy, have two children. Their daughter, Courtney, is a sophomore at Columbia College. She says she has fond memories of riding in the excitement of the lights in the middle of the night, racing to help someone in need. She admits, however, “I didn’t like all the loud noises.”
“Spencer,” on the other hand, Courtney said, “loved every minute of it! He even had his own miniature fire fighting kit.”
Sellers, a native of Mt. Croghan and graduate of Wingate College, said he is honored to continue to serve the community in this capacity.
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.