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A retirement ceremony for North Andover Fire Chief William Martineau will be held Friday at the fire station.

NORTH ANDOVER — The Fire Department will have a send-off celebration Friday at the Main Street fire station for retiring fire Chief William Martineau.

Martineau's last day is Saturday. The 55-year-old has served as fire chief since March 2008.

Martineau's colleagues and the public are invited to stop by and offer him well wishes from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Light refreshments in the morning and a catered lunch will be served.

He joined the North Andover Fire Department in 1978 and worked for 13 years as a firefighter and EMT. He served as a lieutenant for 13 years and was named deputy chief in 2004.

Martineau was named interim fire chief in 2007 after former fire Chief William Dolan retired.

"It's been a great career," said Martineau. "I got to work with a lot of great people."

Martineau will be replaced by Deputy Chief Andrew Melnikas, who will be sworn in as chief Monday at a meeting of the Board of Selectmen. Melnikas, 58, also joined the department in 1978.

Melnikas was the only candidate to apply for the job after Martineau announced he would retire in January. Selectmen voted unanimously this spring to appoint Melnikas as the next fire chief.

Martineau is a longtime town resident and member of the North Andover High School class of 1972.

"He was the consummate firefighter," said Melnikas. "He's always held the department first and foremost. He was a pleasure to work for."

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