A Hero’s Return: Community welcomes fallen Utah firefighter home

Local News

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah (News4Utah) The body of fallen Draper Fire Battalion Chief Matt Burchett is now back home with his family.

A procession of police and firefighters escorted his body from the Utah Air National Guard to a mortuary in South Jordan Wednesday night.

There was a sadness from friends and fellow firefighters who can’t believe he’s gone, but also an outpouring of support from local communities who didn’t know Matt but felt his loss.

Battalion Chief Matt Burchett was a hero to his fellow firefighters.

“He was a mentor to everyone he was a friend to everyone, he’s just an irreplaceable person,” said Eric Holmes with Unified Police Department.
That’s why his loss even harder to bear for those who worked by his side.

“It’s difficult to imagine the fire service without him,” said Holmes.


Before his body was in Utah, the funeral director lined his business with flags.

“We put these up because it would be very important to show our respect to him, and everything he’s done,” said Jordan Hager, funeral director.

Jill Petersen didn’t know until 5 p.m. that the prosecution was coming to South Jordan.
She immediately enlisted the Boy Scouts and neighbors to help plant flags down the street.

“This is the street we live on and I wanted to show our respect and honor our fallen firefighter,” said Jill Petersen, South Jordan resident.

When the procession finally arrived, a calm fell over the crowd. There was a palpable amount of respect and sadness for a firefighter who was known as a master of his craft.

Matthew Burchett will be remembered for how happy he made those who had the privilege to know him.

A firefighter will stand guard over his body for 24 hours a day until his funeral on Monday.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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