Family to receive firefighter's death benefits after 3-year battle

Capt. John Sayles died 24 hours and 14 minutes after leaving a fire scene; his $300,000 benefit check was in limbo over the additional 14 minutes


PENTWATER, Mich. — The family of a fire captain that died of an apparent aortic aneurysm in 2012 was awarded his death benefits after a long-standing battle.

WZZM reported that Pentwater (Mich.) Fire Department captain John Sayles died 24 hours and 14 minutes after leaving the scene of a fire in Nov. 2012. To qualify for a death benefit, a firefighter must have died within the first 24 hours. The additional 14 minutes held up the benefits, according to the report.

The family fought for years to get the $300,000 they were owed, but it remained under legal review.

After more than three years, the firefighter’s benefits were finally approved Monday. Melanie Sayles and their three daughters will receive the money.

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