Fayette County

Lexington firefighter dies just months after diagnosis of stage 4 cancer

Lexington firefighter Matt Logsdon, right, has died after battling cancer. The firefighter had no symptoms before his diagnosis in January.
Lexington firefighter Matt Logsdon, right, has died after battling cancer. The firefighter had no symptoms before his diagnosis in January. Photo provided

Lexington firefighter Matt Logsdon, who was diagnosed with stage four cancer earlier this year, has died at a Louisville hospital. He was 42.

Logsdon, a 10-year veteran with the fire department, had no symptoms before his diagnosis in January, his co-workers said.

On his last work day with the department, he fought two fires without knowing he had cancer affecting his liver, lungs, spine and skull.

“He was a firefighter’s firefighter,” Lexington fire Capt. Chris Bartley said. “He just did the job, he never complained.”

In his time as a firefighter, Logsdon trained in every specialization he could, Bartley said.

“He did everything,” Bartley said. “His principles and disciplines covered the entire gamut of the fire department.”

Firefighters and supporters around the country helped raise money for Logsdon and his family through fundraisers and a GoFundMe page that collected more than $33,000.

Lexington firefighters hosted multiple events to raise awareness about how cancer can affect firefighters like Logsdon. One event was an exhibition game during halftime of a University of Kentucky men’s basketball game in February.

Logsdon worked as a volunteer firefighter in Jefferson County for several years before joining the Lexington department, Bartley said.

A state law change passed in April expanded eligibility for line-of-duty death benefits to include firefighters who get certain types of cancer. Logsdon worked with the Lexington firefighters union to convince lawmakers to include firefighter cancer deaths in the law.

If his case is approved by the state, Logsdon’s family will be able to get the benefits made possible by the change, said Bartley, who also is union president.

“Despite his illness, he worked tirelessly to help get (the) Kentucky's Firefighter Cancer Bill passed into law,” the fire department said on its Facebook page. “His efforts will now continue to help future firefighter's families if they are faced with this terrible disease. Helping protect people that you've never met seems a fitting legacy for any firefighter.”

Logsdon leaves behind his wife, Jessica, and his children, Hayden, 16, Patrick, 10, and Maggie, 8.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Lexington police detective Phillip Harrison also died Wednesday morning after a battle with cancer.

Mayor Jim Gray released a statement about both men: “The city lost two members of our public safety family today: Firefighter Matt Logsdon and Police Detective Phillip Harrison. Both put their lives on the line for their community. We honor their service and their sacrifice. And we offer our deepest sympathy to their families.”