Former City Deputy Chief Leo Loftus memorialized in plaque at city fire station

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WATERTOWN — Barbara Lamon, the 88-year-old daughter of the late Deputy Fire Chief Leo J. Loftus, said it means a lot for her family to see her father memorialized.

“We feel very privileged that they finally recognize the fact that it did happen the way it did,” she said. “It’s been a long time coming, but we’re still very happy about it.”

Deputy Chief Loftus died at Thompson Park one month after exposure to chlorine gas while fighting a fire in 1943, but his death was not recognized as in the line of duty, until recently.

“It’s taken 78 years, seven months, and three days for City Fire to add the name to our memorial, the time it’s taken does not lessen the sacrifice,” said the Rev. Leon I. VanWie, United Methodist pastor. “A fitting tribute can take time.”

Ms. Lamon said that she was very excited to learn the news of her father’s name getting memorialized.

“That was very much a blessing to us,” she said.

Mary Leonard, another daughter, 86, said it was “wonderful” to have her father memorialized on the plaque.

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