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LAFD Mourns Sudden Death Of 51-Year-Old Fire Captain

Matthew McKnight was a 31-year veteran of the Los Angeles Fire Department (Photo courtesy of LAFD/Flickr)
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The Los Angeles Fire Department is mourning the sudden death of a 51-year-old Fire Captain, who was found early Monday morning and was unable to be revived.On Monday, August 12 at 1:07 a.m., Los Angeles firefighters discovered on-duty Fire Captain/Paramedic Matthew G. McKnight unresponsive after his collapse inside the LAFD Metropolitan Fire Communications Center at 500 East Temple Street in Los Angeles, according to the LAFD site.

McKnight, a 31-year veteran of the LAFD, was last seen at 12:55 a.m. near the end of a busy five-hour watch.

Despite an exhaustive effort by colleagues, McKnight was beyond medical help and was declared dead Monday morning at the USC Medical Center.

The county coroner will perform a detailed investigation as the cause of death is not known.

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McKnight, who lived in Thousand Oaks, is survived by his wife, daughter, son and two brothers, who also work for the LAFD, the L.A. Times reports.

Fellow firefighters posted messages on condolence on the LAFD's blog, including this note from Erik Scott, who identified himself as a a Paramedic Spokesman/Public Service Officer with the LAFD.

This came as truly shocking and devastating news, quickly followed by a wave of disbelief and deep sadness. Captain McKnight was strong, energetic, and young, a loving family man and father. He was someone many of us aspired to be like. I cannot remember a morning that he did not welcome you with a warm smile and a firm handshake, asking how you are doing, not superficially, but because he really cared. He was a very competent and knowledgeable Captain who found that perfect balance of kindness and being a Commanding Officer. He was NEVER too busy to help. I, along with so many others send our deepest condolences to the McKnight family. Words cannot express how sorry we are for your sudden loss. ... As firefighters, may we find the strength to become ever more united and may we all take time today to tell our loved ones how we feel about them.