Firefighter who died in line of duty honored 70 years later

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SALT LAKE CITY – Dozens of Salt Lake City firefighters gathered Monday to remember a firefighter on the 70th anniversary of the day he died in the line of duty.

Four firefighters were on top of a 100-foot tall ladder truck fighting a fire at Hotel Newhouse when the ladder broke. Three of the firefighters were seriously injured in the fall. Lt. Paul Hamilton was killed.

Firefighters gathered at 10:06 Monday morning, which is the exact time of Hamilton’s death. The firefighters hung a wreath in his memory.

Capt. Chris Milnes of the Salt Lake City Fire Department said it is important to remember those who have made sacrifices.

“For us to be able to connect to the past, and pay homage and respect to those, it helps us stay grounded in what we're doing and to really look at those around us and look at our families and take the effort to make them a priority in our lives,” he said.

An investigation into the accident determined the fall was caused by defects in the ladder rather than by the actions of the firefighters.