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Cascade Volunteer Fire Department will 'light the night' to honor fallen firefighter

Fire department asks people to put red light outside
Ken Lemanksi, a volunteer firefighter/EMT in Cascade, has died after a battle with COVID.
Posted at 2:31 PM, Apr 27, 2023

CASCADE — From May 4-7 you may see people placing red light bulbs outside their homes, especially in the town of Cascade.

The fire department in town is asking people to light the night red in honor of Ken Lemanski, a longtime firefighter and EMT with the department and EMT.

"He has been a firefighter since he was young with his dad, about his size and going on up. He became a junior firefighter at 16, as early as he could," Lemanski's wife Crystal said.

Ken died from COVID in 2021 at the age of 37. A funeral procession drove from Great Falls to Cascade to honor him.

Memorial procession honors Cascade firefighter Ken Lemanski
Memorial procession honors Cascade firefighter Ken Lemanski

Crystal said the fire department's effort to honor Ken makes her feel proud.

"It's nice to still have their support a year later," she said.

If you don't have a red light or don't want to put one out, you can display something else red.

"I have some window wrap, some red cellophane, that we're going to do in our windows," Crystal explained.

"Ken was the epitome of a volunteer," said Fire Chief Eric Tilleman.

Tilleman is anticipating a big response to the request to light the night red: "I think it's something that we're going to keep going with. Because Cascade County, we've had three that I can think of off the top of my head, volunteers that have passed in the line of duty."

Even if you don't know someone, Crystal said showing your support is worthwhile: "You don't know who you're going to touch that may just drive by your house and see that light on and it could just turn their whole day around."

From the Facebook event page:

Ken's name is also being added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial.


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