Covering Kentucky

Oct 5, 2012 3:49 PM

Ceremony In Hometown Honors Fallen Lexington Firefighter Brenda Cowan

Eight years after a Lexington firefighter was gunned down in the line of duty, a western Kentucky community is honoring the fallen hero.

It's sure to be a long day for some Lexington firefighters who are traveling to Union County to say yet another goodbye to a friend they lost eight years ago. Lt. Brenda Cowan was shot and killed in February 2004 while responding to a domestic violence call. The 40-year-old lieutenant was a 12-year veteran of the Lexington Fire Department.

Cowan's passion to serve, among with the other qualities friends and family said she had, led her hometown in Union County to induct her into the county's Hall Of Fame Friday. Cowan is remembered as the first female African-American officer to serve on Lexington's fire department. She was also the first female firefighter in the U.S. to be killed in the line of duty.

Union County officials invited her former colleagues in Lexington to attend the ceremony to present the colors and share a few memories. They talked of her philanthropy, her service and her sense of humor.

Assistant Chief Rick Jordan, who worked with Cowan for several years, says it will never be the same without her. "You live, you learn and you move on. You just don't forget," he said.

The ceremony also honored Cowan's brother, former UK basketball player Freddie Cowan.

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