Public Memorial For Beloved Spokane Firefighter - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

SALUTING THE BRAVE: Public Memorial For Beloved Spokane Firefighter

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Photo Courtesy of the  Save John Knighten Facebook page Photo Courtesy of the Save John Knighten Facebook page
SPOKANE, Wash. -

UPDATE: After several emotional videos and eulogies, Spokane Firefighter John Knighten's service ended with a series of presentations. His wife, Shawna, received the flag over his casket, a Washington State flag on behalf of Governor Jay Inslee, and a Medal of Honor from the Local 29 Union. Spokane Mayor David Condon proclaimed Monday a Day Of Remembrance for John Knighten, and the service ended with a bell ceremony, last alarm, and his oldest daughter, Ashley, playing "Amazing Grace" on the piano.


UPDATE: On Monday a public memorial service was  held in honor of 45-year-old John Knighten who passed away on June 30 after battling cancer for three years. The service was at the Spokane Convention Center. A procession followed the service.

Spokane Mayor David Condon issued the following statement today in remembrance of Spokane firefighter John Knighten:

"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 have been lowered today to half-staff in John's honor.

John will be remembered fondly as someone who shared a passion for his family, service to his country and community, and pride, dedication and commitment to the Spokane Fire Department. Our thoughts and prayers are with John's wife, Shawna, daughters, Kiley, Kasey and Ashley, and the rest of his family and friends."


KHQ.COM - 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 John Knighten. He was 45.

John lost his three-year battle with multiple myeloma cancer on Sunday, June 30, during a spectacular sunset. When he passed at their north Spokane home, he was surrounded by his wife Shawna; his three beautiful girls Kiley, Kasey and Ashley, along with members of his family.

John was a 19-year veteran of the Spokane Fire Department. A line-of-duty death funeral service is currently being planned by the Knighten family and the Spokane Fire Department. John served his country as Marine and will be buried with military honors. More information about the funeral service will be published as it becomes available. 

John 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. Because the cancer was determined to have been attributed to his profession as a firefighter, John's death is considered to be a line-of-duty death. Spokane Fire Department's last line-of-duty death occurred on September 12, 1982, when firefighter Paul Heidenreich died tragically at the 3rd Alarm Tri State fire.

John was awarded the SFD's Purple Heart medal on June 6 at the annual awards ceremony. He was specifically recognized for his courage and inspiration to all who ever had the privilege to work with him. Throughout his battle with cancer, John maintained an incredible attitude while continuously expressing thanks and appreciation to everyone that offered support and prayers. His actions epitomized bravery and set a shining example for all of us in how to deal with adversity.

John graduated from the Spokane Regional Fire Recruit Training Academy in June 1994 receiving the coveted "Top Recruit" of his class. Additionally, he received a Gold Award for his fitness levels during the academy, which was indicative of the outstanding physical condition he maintained throughout his career.

On February 4, 2001, John was promoted to Fire Equipment Operator. He spent most of his career working at Station 4 in Spokane's Browne's Addition, but also worked out of Station 2. He served on several special assignments including the Water Rescue Team, Technical Rescue Team and Wildland Firefighting Task Force.

Members of Ladder 4, the last unit to which John was assigned, and Station 13, removed John from his home with honors and a Fire Department procession escorted John to Hennessey Funeral Home.

The Spokane Fire Department and City of Spokane are grateful for the unwavering service provided to our community by Firefighter John Knighten. John will be missed by us all!


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