Former Charleston Fire Chief Thomas Carr died late Wednesday.

Carr had been battling Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. He retired in March 2012 because of his declining health at age 57.

Carr became fire chief in November 2008, taking the reins of a department still grieving and rebuilding from the Sofa Super Store blaze that killed nine city firefighters the year before. He is widely credited with adopting modern techniques and standards, as well as charting a more coordinated, regional approach to firefighting.

Charleston Mayor Joe Riley praised Carr as an innovator who made a great impact in Charleston.

“Chief Thomas Carr was a great man who left a profound legacy,” Riley said Wednesday night. “His implementation of automatic aid in our region was transformative. He was an innovator in the fire service and made a great impact in our region.”

He was named Career Fire Chief of the Year by the International Association of Fire Chiefs in 2010.

“It is with heavy hearts that the Charleston Fire Department confirms the passing of retired Fire Chief Thomas Carr,” Battalion Chief Mike Julazadeh said in a statement.

“Chief Carr passed away at his home, surrounded by family and friends.”