**Press release from Spokane Valley Fire**
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 last night.
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!
A public service will be held on:
Monday July 8, 2013 at 1pm
334 W Spokane Falls Boulevard, Spokane
A procession (including fire apparatus) following the service will be formed and guided to a graveside service for the extended and Fire Department family at 3pm:
Eastern Veterans Cemetery
21702 W. Espanola RoadMedical Lake, WA 99022