A retired Kent firefighter died Wednesday, and officials said his is the first line of duty death this year.
Ernie Rideout died of multiple myeloma, a type of cancer that affects white blood cells and bone marrow.
The department said his cancer was contracted due to his profession, which is why his death is considered to be in the line of duty. Rideout will be honored at next year’s state Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service.
He joined the Kent Fire Department in 1978 and spent 32 years with the department.
In addition to working as a firefighter-engineer and deputy fire marshal, Rideout served in the fire prevention division and was responsible for checking fire safety systems in new constructions and remodels.
He retired in July 2010.