Lt. Brenda Cowan at her promotion ceremony just a week before Friday's tragic shooting.
Photo credit: Official Department Photo
The firefighter killed in the standoff, Lieutenant Brenda Cowan, was a 12-year veteran of the force. She was just promoted this week.
WKYT's Valeria Cummings had met Cowan soon after she joined the Lexington Fire Department back in 1992.
She made history then by becoming the first female African American to join the fire department, but said her goal was just to become one the guys.
A sign hanging in the fire department says courage comes from a reserve of mind more powerful than outside circumstances--a true description of Lieutenant Brenda Cowan, who died doing the job she loved.
Fire Chief Robert Hendricks, "She was an extremely hard worker. She followed the letter of the division and the law to the max. She was tough as nails and just the kind of person you want to have working with you."
Hendricks says Cowan was a dedicated member of his department who just last week received the ranking of Lieutenant within the department.
"She was very humble about it--didn't like the limelight focused on her."
Cowan's minister, Rev. Richard Gaines, spent Friday evening counseling firefighters and remembering a woman he says left behind a legacy.
"Just as she was a tremendous firefighter, she was also a tremendous asset to our church community. Brenda touched many lives in special ways and we are going to miss her a great deal. At this point, it's safe to say Brenda died doing what she loved."
Brenda Cowan is the third Lexington firefighter to die in the line of duty. Funeral arrangements for Cowan are still pending.
- WKYT: Firefighter Killed, Several Injured in Standoff (includes video/audio)
- Lexington Division of Fire & Emergency Services
- Kentucky.com: Cowan Never Head to Prove Herself
- Kentucky.com: An Interview with the Suspect
- Kentucky.com: Firefighter Shot, Killed
- Lexington Herald-Leader: Brenda Cowan Never Had To Prove Herself
- WAVE: Firefighter Killed Responding To Fatal Domestic Dispute
Firefighter Among Two Dead in Lexington, KY Standoff