Wis. fire chief dies due to COVID-19

Clayton Fire Chief Donald Kittelson, 55, was a third-generation firefighter and 34-year department veteran


By Laura French

CLAYTON, Wis. — A Wisconsin fire chief has died due to COVID-19 after a five-week battle with the disease. 

Clayton Fire Chief Donald "Don" Kittelson, 55, died Thursday after being hospitalized with COVID-19, pneumonia and meningitis since early November, according to the Star Tribune. The local community had rallied around Kittelson, a third-generation firefighter and 34-year department veteran, raising money by purchasing lawn signs displaying messages of support for the chief. 

Clayton Fire Chief Donald Kittelson, 55, died due to COVID-19 on Thursday. Kittelson was a third-generation firefighter and 34-year veteran of the department.
Clayton Fire Chief Donald Kittelson, 55, died due to COVID-19 on Thursday. Kittelson was a third-generation firefighter and 34-year veteran of the department. (Photo/Clayton Fire Department)

"We lost a hero tonight," the Clayton Fire Department posted on Facebook after Kittelson's death. "You have touched so many. Family, friends, Community and YOUR fire department brothers and sisters morn [sic] a great man. Love you CHIEF DON- you will never be forgotten."

A celebration of life ceremony for Kittelson is scheduled to be held at the Clayton Fire Hall on Saturday, followed by a fire truck procession. 

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