Francis B. King was battling a blaze on Lincoln Avenue extension in July 2005 when he faced every firefighter’s nightmare.
The ceiling above him collapsed. He was momentarily trapped.
Ceiling falls, he knew, can lead to deadly results.
But, thinking quickly, he noticed a table in the room and used it as crawl space. Then he saw his colleague Matthew Belsito, who was also fighting the fire. Belsito, now the Sutton Fire Chief, helped him to safety.
King said he will miss that sense of camaraderie most now that he has retired from the Millbury Fire Department, where he had worked since Feb. 1, 1974. He began as a private at Station 2 on West Main Street and remained at that station for his entire career.
He was promoted to lieutenant of Engine 4, the water tanker truck, on Nov. 7, 1994. He served in that role for 25 years before becoming captain in 2019.