A firefighter from Marshfield was among three fallen Missouri firefighters honored this weekend during two services at the Fire Fighters Memorial of Missouri in Kingdom City.
Lt. Mathew Blankship’s name was 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 Sunday event followed a Saturday night candlelight vigil.
Blankenship was 38 when he died following a flashover of a fire in the basement of a two-story home in Niangua last July. He died one week after suffering burns over 75 percent of his body. He had been a member of the department for four years.
“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 two other firefighters whose names were 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.
• 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.