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Friends and family pay respects to longtime Clark County firefighter

Joe Killian passed away earlier this month at age 56 following a battle with cancer. Killian worked as a firefighter and paramedic for more than 25 years.

CLARK COUNTY, Wash. — Colleagues, friends and family paid respects to Clark County Fire District 6 firefighter Joe Killian, who passed away earlier this month at age 56 following a battle with cancer. Killian worked as a firefighter and paramedic for more than 25 years.

According to friends, he had a larger than life spirit that could easily make your worries go away.

Kristan Maurer, fire chief for Clark County Fire District 6, spent more than 20 years of her career working with Joe. She said if he wasn’t making you laugh, he was making sure you didn’t go hungry.

“My favorite thing he cooked was fried chicken. It’s pretty well known that when there was left overs, we would often put it in a bowl and put salad on top because we knew none of the firefighters would eat salad to get to the fried chicken,” Maurer said.

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Jim Harrington was one of Joe’s best friends in the fire department. They spent years exploring the Pacific Northwest with camping and fishing trips. He said they took trips to Alaska, and would go camping to Mount Adams, and Joe was always the type of person who made you a part of his family.

Joe retired from the fire department in 2017, and a year later he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer that is common in the fire service, according to Dave Schmitke with Clark County Fire. Multiple studies have linked the disease to toxins firefighters encounter when they go inside burning buildings.

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