Wash. assistant chief dies of complications from cancer

Whatcom Fire District 7 Assistant Fire Chief Dean Crosswhite served the community for nearly 30 years


Denver Pratt
The Bellingham Herald

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — A nearly 30-year veteran firefighter of Whatcom County Fire District 7 died Wednesday in the line of duty.

Assistant Fire Chief Dean Crosswhite died April 6 after battling kidney carcinoma, according to a Bellingham Fire Department news release.

Crosswhite, who had worked with District 7 since 1995, is the second line of duty death in District 7's 105-year history, according to the release. The other line of duty firefighter death was in March 1950, when Whatcom County Fire District 7's Chief Clyde Eaton suffered fatal burns as a barrel of fuel exploded at a fire, The Bellingham Herald previously reported.

Crosswhite's death is at least the third line of duty death for a firefighter in Whatcom County.

Crosswhite began his career in fire fighting as a resident firefighter at Washington State University and later worked for Kitsap County Fire District 7. He also volunteered with the Blaine Fire Department before he was hired with Whatcom County Fire District 7, the release states.

During his time with District 7, Crosswhite worked as a firefighter, lieutenant, division chief of training and assistant chief.

Crosswhite is survived by his wife, Luciana, son Spencer, stepdaughters Kylie and Brianna and stepsons Nick and Anthony. He is also survived by his parents, Henry Dean and Carol Crosswhite and his siblings, Tom, David and Stanley Crosswhite, the release states.

"He was a strong asset to our community and will be deeply missed," Bellingham Fire's release states.

People can make donations in support of Crosswhite's legacy through People's Bank with checks made in reference to the " Whatcom Seven Firefighters Benevolence Fund," the release states.

Details about Crosswhite's fire service processional and memorial have not yet been released.

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(c)2022 The Bellingham Herald (Bellingham, Wash.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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