Beloved Utah firefighter dies after battle with cancer

Dec 2, 2023, 5:25 PM

PRICE — A long-time Utah firefighter, beloved by many across the state, passed away Friday after battling cancer.

Fitzgerald Petersen, the chief of the Price Fire Department has died at the age of 58.

“May his legacy live on. Life is Duty. We love you Fitz,” the department said in a Facebook post announcing his death.

Petersen also spent many years at the Unified Fire Authority, working up to the rank of captain. In addition to fighting fires, he was a fixture at firefighter and police funerals with his camera, documenting each event in photos.

Tributes to Petersen filled social media on Saturday.

“The news about everyone’s friend in the fire service Fitzgerald Petersen passing away is a huge kick in the gut. Cancer sucks and it affects us all. Fitz was a true friend and brother, he was always giving of his time, energy and talents. He represented all that is right and did it because it was the right thing to do or it was needed. I still do not have the words to express what or how his friendship has impacted me,” a Salt Lake City firefighter posted on social media.

“One of my biggest heroes passed away last night. My heart aches for his family. Fitzgerald Petersen was the kindest person and lived by his motto ‘Life is Duty.’ He was always there for my family and many others. I will miss you, my friend and I am happy that you are no longer in pain,” another post stated.

“Our hearts go out to Fitz’s family and friends. His legendary service within the community has set a standard for all to follow. His thankless service on and off duty enhanced his motto “Life is Duty”. Thank you for your unwavering example and boundless love,” the Unified Fire Authority said.

“A Utah fire service legend passed away last night after an honorable fight with cancer. We share our condolences and love with Chief Fitzgerald Petersen’s family and his fire family at Price City Fire Department and Unified Fire Authority. Life is Duty,” the Kaysville Fire Department posted Saturday.

“Your memory will live on. It was an honor to know you sir. We have the watch from here. May you rest easy without pain watching over us all. Life is Duty,” the Helper Fire Department posted.

“Utah and the planet lost a great man last night,” another friend posted on Facebook.

Fitzgerald had been open about his cancer battle on his own social media pages. His last post on Facebook was Wednesday.

“I have left chemo an I am now on hospice. No questions please but wanted people to know. I love you all,” he wrote.

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Beloved Utah firefighter dies after battle with cancer