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Va. firefighter dies of cancer at 43

Capt. Matt “Chevy” Chiaverotti served with the Virginia Beach Fire Department for more than 20 years and was a search team manager


Photo/Virginia Beach Fire Department

By Eliza Noe
The Virginian-Pilot

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Virginia Beach Fire Department is mourning the loss of one of its team members.

The department announced on Monday night that Cpt. Matt “Chevy” Chiaverotti died of cancer, signifying a line-of-duty death.

“It is impossible to describe the depth of Chevy’s impact on our department and the tragedy of losing him far too soon,” the announcement reads.

Chiaverotti was diagnosed with anaplastic thyroid cancer, a metastatic carcinoma, when he was 43 years old, according to a a GoFundMe set up for his wife, Sara, and his son, Gus.

Chiaverotti had more than 20 years with the Virginia Beach Fire Department. Some of his most recent service was as the captain of Engine 7, the “busiest engine” in the VBFD, the GoFundMe states. He was also a Search Team Manager with FEMA Virginia Task Force 2 and had been with the team for more than 16 years.

“While firefighters are possibly exposed to cancer causing carcinogens at every structure fire they respond to, (the crash of an F/A-18D Hornet jet in Virginia Beach) involved burning carbon fiber and copious amounts of firefighting foam,” a note from the GoFundMe reads. “Exposure to burning carbon fiber and firefighting foam has been linked to cause cancer. Chevy also has deployed many times with VATF2 and has responded to disasters to assist citizens in the US, Haiti and Puerto Rico.”

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