AUBURN, Ind. (WANE) — On Thursday, Deputy Fire Chief Doug Cox took over as fire chief of the Auburn Fire Department, replacing Chief Michael VanZile.

VanZile is stepping down after 18 years in the role.

“I am pleased to be able to promote one of our own from within the department,” said Auburn Mayor Mike Ley. “With Doug’s background, experience and passion, the department is under great command.

Cox joined the Auburn Fire Department in 1997 after working in accounting, and he said he looks forward to expanding the department’s training facilities.

“Our guys are very well-trained,” Cox said. “I would put our guys up against anyone. They are very capable.”

Following his retirement from the Auburn Fire Department, VanZile will be taking a position as deputy director of DeKalb County Homeland Security.