It might be an overstatement to state Don Etherington went out with a blaze of glory as fire marshal in Washington.

Yet the 43-year veteran surely enjoyed the spotlight Feb. 29 as the Litchfield County Fire Marshals association celebrated his career during its monthly meeting at the fire station.

Mr. Etherington was appointed Feb. 15, 1968 and served until Jan. 1, 2012.

Attending the meeting were 40 local and state fire marshals from across the state, along with local fire fighters, townspeople and Mr. Etherington's daughter, Eve.

Washington fire Chief Mark Showalter presented Mr. Etherington with his retired helmet, embellished with a new gold shield inscribed with his service dates.

First Selectman Mark Lyon presented the guest of honor with a brass clock inscribed with his service dates.

Fire marshal association president Paul Makuc presented Mr. Etherington with a plaque recognizing Don's service to the group.

Washington's deputy fire marshal, Brian Ohmen, thanked Mr. Etherington for encouraging him to pursue a career as a fire marshal.

The town's acting fire marshal, Tom Osborne, presented Mr. Etherington with a state legislative proclamation recognizing his service to the community.

Norm Cummings