Spokane firefighters, leaders honor fallen comrade




Posted on July 8, 2013 at 8:29 AM

Updated Monday, Jul 8 at 6:55 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.--A public memorial on July 8th honored a Spokane firefighter who died June 30 from multiple myeloma cancer. 

The public service honoring John Knighten began at 1:00 p.m. at the Spokane Convention Center. Hundreds of friends, family, and fellow firefighters were in attendance to say final farewells.

Spokane Mayor David Condon issued this statement on Monday.

"Spokane said goodbye to a courageous firefighter, loving husband, father and friend, and celebrated John Knighten's many contributions to the city he proudly served for nearly two decades. His courageous three-year battle with multiple myeloma was a source of inspiration to all who have been impacted by cancer, either personally or through a loved one, and his passing a reminder of the dedication and commitment each of our firefighters makes every day to keep Spokane safe." 

Flags on all City buildings were lowered on Monday to half-staff in honor of Knighten.

Spokane Fire Department leaders released a statement about Knighten’s death July 1.

“It is with great sadness that the Spokane Fire Department and the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Local 29 announce the line-of-duty death of Spokane Firefighter SPA. He was 45.”

Knighten battled multiple myeloma cancer for three-and-a-half years. He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in early 2010, underwent a bone marrow transplant in late 2010 and was able to return to work for a time before the cancer reemerged. SFD leaders said the cancer was determined to have been attributed to his profession as a firefighter. Therefore, his death is considered to be a line-of-duty death.

The last time a Spokane firefighter was killed in the line of duty was in 1982.

SFD leaders said Knighten died at home while surrounded by his wife and three daughters.

He was a 19-year veteran of the Spokane Fire Department. Knighten served his country as Marine. He will be buried with military honors.

Knighten was 45-years-old.