Body of Fallen Firefighter Chief Burchett Back in Utah

Aug 16, 2018, 12:33 AM | Updated: 1:31 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A procession that crossed states and brought a fallen hero home: the body of Draper City Battalion Chief Matt Burchett is back in Utah.

The procession started Wednesday evening in Mendocino, California where Burchett’s casket was draped with the American flag.

The casket was brought to the airport, and dozens of firefighters gathered to give a final salute.

Burchett’s casket was loaded onto a military jet where he started his final journey back to Utah.

Draper Battalion Chief Matt Burchett arrives in Salt Lake City

Once Burchett’s casket landed in Utah – a procession across the valley attracted those who knew and loved him and those who wanted to say ‘thank you’.

Procession for Draper Battalion Chief Matt Burchett in California

At 700 West and overlooking I-215, Junior Quintana gathered with his family.

“Matt and I worked in the wildland division for 16 years,” Quintana told KSL-TV. “I feel sadness more than anything. These wildland firefighters need more appreciation when they are alive, when they are sacrificing so much.”

Quintana spoke of a firefighter brotherhood, and said Burchett was the best of the best.

“He was an awesome leader, an all-around good guy,” Quintana said. “I learned a lot from him.”

Dozens of firefighters saluted as the procession passed 700 West.

Trent Hutchings, Lehi firefighter and paramedic, said the scene was somber and one he will never forget.

“I have been in communication with a few of those who were on the line with Burchett from the Pleasant Grove Fire Department. They were battling that same wildland fire,” Hutchings said. “I feel so sad for his family and for the Draper Fire Department.”

Procession arrival at South Jordan funeral home

Lehi firefighters shut down one of their fire stations for the night, so that emergency responders could represent and give Chief Burchett a proper thank you during the procession.

There are three fire stations in Lehi.

But the family of firefighters stretched beyond country borders. A group of firefighters from Zacatecas, Mexico was attending a training in Sandy, Utah. They heard of Chief Burchett’s unexpected death, and they made their way to the overpass to honor and support their fallen brother.

“It doesn’t matter where you’re from – or your nationality – this brotherhood is felt everywhere,” Hutchings said.

Family statement from Firefighter Jay Torgersen

In addition to those who knew and cared about Burchett, there were dozens in the crowd who simply came to pay their respects.

Abby Gruis, 15, came to the overpass because she has been shaken watching fire coverage.

“I feel so thankful for these brave firefighters,” Gruis said. “I just feel inspired to do more. I am not sure what that looks like yet, so I am here to show I am grateful for Burchett’s sacrifice.”

Related: Draper Firefighter Killed Battling California Wildfire

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


The Rainbow Fire near Ogden Canyon on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022. The fire forced evacuations. (Chopper...
Madison Swenson

Human-caused wildfires decrease in Utah for second year

Gov. Spencer Cox is thanking Utahns for using their fire sense after the state recorded a drop in human-caused wildfires for the second year in a row.
12 days ago
helicopter power poles...
Jed Boal

Millcreek Canyon to reopen after 100 power poles removed for wildfire prevention

Millcreek Canyon has been closed to the public for two days as Rocky Mountain Power wraps up a project to reduce wildfire risk.
18 days ago
Several agencies will be working in Parley's Canyon to clear fuel for a potential wildfire that wou...
Tamara Vaifanua

Work to begin on clearing forest fire fuel from Parleys Canyon

Fuel reduction projects will begin this week at Parleys Canyon.
2 months ago
Follow @KSL_AlexCabrero...
Alex Cabrero

Human-caused wildfires went from 893 to 450 in two years

The last two wildfire seasons in Utah show signs progress of reducing the number of human-caused fires.
2 months ago
(Uinta-Wasatch-Cache NF/Twitter)...
Cary Schwanitz

South Fork fire 50% contained

Fire managers said the South Fork Fire burning in Provo Canyon south of Vivian Park was 50% contained Tuesday.
2 months ago
(Uinta-Wasatch-Cache NF/Twitter)...
Madison Swenson

Fire crews work to extinguish blaze in Provo Canyon

Multiple agencies are responding to a new wildfire that broke out Monday afternoon in Provo Canyon.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Body of Fallen Firefighter Chief Burchett Back in Utah