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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Battalion Chief
Age: 48
Year of Death: 2022

Sean Kelly

Michael “Sean” Kelly was born in Murray, Kentucky, to Dan and Carol Kelly on July 4, 1973. Within a year of graduating from Calloway County High School, he joined the county fire rescue squad. He served on the department until 1998, when he was hired at the Murray Fire Department. Even though serving his community was very important to Sean, knowing how much time it would take away from his family serving on city and county fire departments, he resigned from the county fire department once he was hired at the city.

Sean was a dedicated part of the Murray Fire Department for 21 years, retiring at the end of 2019 as battalion chief. Due to COVID, retirement was short lived. When the department began feeling the effects of COVID and shifts were short-handed, Sean went back to work on an as-needed basis to help fill in where needed. This was a true testament of his dedication to the men he worked beside for years.

During his time at the department, Sean had extensive training that included Technical Rescue Team training. In December 2021, a neighboring county was hit by a devastating tornado. Emergency personnel from area agencies were requested in the recovery efforts. Sean worked tirelessly and spent several hours pulling survivors from the rubble of the candle factory in Mayfield, Kentucky.

Sean was known for having the strength of Goliath. Several years ago, a fellow firefighter and friend of Sean’s was quoted saying, “If I ever need a door knocked down, Sean Kelly is my guy. When no one else can knock the door down, he can.” Another firefighter also commented on Sean’s strength. In his words, “We had a house fire and went in together to do a search. We needed a couch moved out of the way. Sean picked up one end of the couch and had it moved out of the way before I could blink.”

On February 28, 2022, Sean departed this earth, leaving a huge void in the lives of his family and friends. He leaves behind his wife of 28 years, Tracey; daughter, Kristen Kelly; and son, Sean Jackson Kelly.

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