Crystal Murphy, a longtime Lacey firefighter who was the subject of an Olympian story in July, has died, according to Lacey Fire District 3.
The district announced Murphy’s death on its Facebook page.
“We are again saddened that we must announce the passing of one of our own,” the post stated. “Firefighter Crystal Murphy passed away at home over the weekend. She will be greatly missed.”
Murphy, 40, had worked as a firefighter for more than 14 years, nine of those years spent in Lacey, Chief Steve Brooks said Wednesday.
“She performed everything she did with excellence,” he said, adding that it was a tough time for the entire Lacey fire family.
Murphy was one of about a dozen women who worked for Lacey Fire District 3. She also had helped organize Capital Metro Girls Fire Camp to encourage young women to be firefighters.
In that regard, Brooks described her as an icon, someone who advocated for women in the fire service. The girls fire camp was just one example of her influence, he said.
Murphy was a firefighter/EMT, who also filled in as an officer, Brooks said.
Murphy told The Olympian over the summer that the only way to change attitudes about female firefighters is to increase their numbers.
“If a male has a problem with women in the fire service, they’re going to have to come to terms with it,” Murphy said. “Because we’re not going anywhere.”
Brooks said Crystal’s memorial likely would be held at a large venue because she was so well known. Details will be released at a later date.