Former fire chief Auclair in stable condition

NORTH PORT -- Former North Port Fire Chief Michael Auclair is in stable condition in a Eustis hospital after suffering a massive stroke.

Auclair, the former North Port Fire Chief, suffered a massive stroke Wednesday. A spokeswoman for Florida Hospital Waterman in Eustis where Auclair is recuperating said Auclair is "doing OK" and now is in stable condition.

According to the Lake County Fire Department, Auclair is now working as the deputy chief of operations there. No one could say Thursday where his stroke occurred.

Auclair resigned from his position as North Port Fire Chief in March 2002. He then went to work for Lake County. City officials said Auclair worked for North Port for 17 years and one month.

"I am deeply sad to hear about Auclair," said North Port City Manager Mark Roath. "I hope he recovers."

Commissioner Dick Lockhart said Thursday that he was surprised to hear about Auclair's stroke.

"I consider him a young man," he said. "My wife, Janice and I, our thoughts and prayers are with him."

Current Fire Chief William Taaffe said he sent out a memo to city employees about Auclair. Taaffe accepted his post in January. Capt. Howard Bearse, who served as interim fire chief for nine months while the city searched for a new chief, has been promoted to deputy chief of operations, Taaffe said Thursday.

You can e-mail Carie L. Call at [email protected], Taaffe said Thursday.

You can e-mail Carie L. Call at [email protected]


Staff Writer