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Fifth generation continues firefighter legacy

LEWIS-When Zach Denton was called up to receive his certificate for completing Fire Fighter I training, he followed in the footsteps of his father.

And his father.

And his father.

And his father.

Denton, who graduates from Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School June 24, is the fifth generation of his family to serve as a firefighter.

"I remember going to the firehouse and looking at the trucks and watching the people ride in and out on them," Denton said. "I would be at home and I would listen to the scanner because I found it interesting. I knew that as soon as I had the chance, I wanted to be involved."

Denton became involved in the Elizabethtown Junior Firefighter program, which he said fostered him into becoming fully trained.

"There is so much to it and this is something that is great to get into and be a part of," Denton said. "There is a science to fighting fire, and it's something that draws me to taking a 91-hour course and nine hours of survival training."

"It's great to see that this is being carried on in our family," said Stephen Denton Sr., Zach's grandfather. "When I started in 1958, it was about fathers and sons working together. It was one of those things that you did to help out in your community."

The elder Denton said that there is also another line of the family that is entering the fifth generation of firefighters, as Ian Hall in Keene followed in the footsteps of his father, Rusty.

"My father and grandfather were firefighters, and I also had an uncle," Denton Sr. said.

Zach's father, Stephen Denton Jr., said that the five generations are what they know about.

"There could be more if we do some more genealogy work," he said. "This is great. I am sure that my father felt the same way to have his son follow in his footsteps. It is a good feeling to see the tradition continue on."

The tradition is continuing in the family, as well, as Zach's brother, Owen, is currently a junior firefighter.

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