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Fallen Firefighters To Be Honored This Weekend

Photo: Image by Marshfield Fire Protection District

Fallen Firefighters To Be Honored This Weekend

By Lynne Roberts. CREATED May 17, 2014

A firefighter from Marshfield will be honored Sunday in Kingdom City. 

Lieutenant Matthew Blankenship was killed in the line of duty last July. 

He and two other men will have their names engraved on a monument. 

A candlelight vigil for all fallen firefighters will be held Saturday at 9 p.m.

Edited from a press release from the State Fire Marshal's Office:

Fallen Missouri firefighters will be honored this weekend during two services at the Fire Fighters Memorial of Missouri in Kingdom City.

On Saturday, May 17, at 9 p.m., a candlelight vigil will be held for all Missouri firefighters who have died while serving their communities.

On Sunday, May 18, at 10:30 a.m., the names of three Missouri firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2013 will be added to the monument wall commemorating Missouri firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting citizens of the state. Other Missouri firefighters who passed away during 2013 will also be remembered during the ceremonies.

“The firefighters of Missouri devote their lives to bravely answering each call for service – from a house fire down the block, to a multi-vehicle crash on the highway, to rescuing the wounded in the wake of a devastating storm, “ Gov. Jay Nixon said. “We can never repay these selfless individuals who risk all to protect their neighbors. The three fallen firefighters we honor this year represent the very best of the fire service and of Missouri.”

“Each May, the members of Missouri’s fire service gather not only to remember and honor the heroes who died while serving, but also to embrace and comfort their surviving family members for the sacrifices they made through the years to support their fallen loved one,” said Missouri Acting State Fire Marshal Greg Carrell. “The survivors will always be part of our extended fire service community.”

The firefighters whose names will be added to the Fire Fighters Line of Duty Memorial Wall are:

• Asst. Chief Harold B. Hollingsworth, age 47, Fort Osage Fire Protection District, April 7, 2013. Asst. Chief Hollingsworth was responding to a house fire during a severe thunderstorm when his fire district vehicle left wet pavement and struck a fence and a tree in eastern Jackson County. He was a 16-year veteran of the Fort Osage Fire Protection District and had spent a total of 25 years in the fire service.

• Lt. Matthew D. Blankenship, age 38, Marshfield Fire Protection District/Fire Department, July 20, 2013. Lt. Blankenship sustained fatal injuries from a flashover of a fire in the basement of a two-story residential structure in Niangua. He died one week after sustaining burns over 75 percent of his body. He had been a member of the department for four years.

• Asst. Chief Joe Darr, age 62, Chillicothe Fire Department, Sept. 4, 2013. Asst. Chief Darr died due to complications from a medical emergency he suffered while on duty on Aug. 17. He was a 34-year veteran of the Chillicothe Fire Department.

Both events will take place at the Fire Fighters Memorial of Missouri, which is located one block northwest of the I-70 & U.S. Highway 54 intersection (I-70 Exit 148) in Kingdom City, Mo. There are plans to build a firefighters museum on the site. Donations to the Firefighters Memorial Foundation and the Fire Fighters Association of Missouri can be made to support the memorial.

Saturday, May 17

WHAT: Candlelight Vigil honoring Missouri firefighters who died serving Missouri’s fire service

WHO: Families and friends of those who died

Firefighters from across Missouri

WHERE: Fire Fighters Memorial of Missouri, one block northwest of the I-70 & U.S. Highway 54 intersection, Kingdom City

WHEN: 9 p.m. Saturday, May 17

Sunday, May 18

WHAT: Memorial Service honoring Missouri firefighters who died serving Missouri’s fire service

WHO: Acting State Fire Marshal Greg Carrell

 Leaders of the Fire Fighters Association of Missouri

 Families and friends of those who have died

 Other firefighters from across Missouri

WHERE: Fire Fighters Memorial of Missouri, one block northwest of the I-70 & U.S. Highway 54 intersection, Kingdom City

WHEN: 10:30 a.m. Sunday, May 18

Lynne Roberts

Lynne Roberts

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Texas native Lynne Roberts joined the KTTS news team in January 2014.