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Mention the words “sexiest firefighter” to Lance Thornton and he’ll say it’s no big deal in an effort to dodge another round of razzing from his shift mates.

Last week Evening Magazine crews surprised the Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue firefighter/EMT by crowning him western Washington’s Sexiest Firefighter.

“She loves me and she thinks it’s true,” Thornton said of wife Kim, who rounded up friends and family to vote for him via Internet. Her campaigning paid off when a nervous Thornton arrived at the CKFR Administrative Building where John Curley, the show’s host, and a camera crew were waiting.

“I did it to torture him,” Kim joked.

The show, featuring the best the region has to offer, aired Tuesday.

“I assumed it was a joke,” said Lt. Brian Danskin, Thornton’s supervisor. He was told to bring Thornton by fire engine to the admin building. Danskin, who happens to be president for the IFF Local No. 2819 and Steve Davidson told Thornton to change into a new uniform and there would be union representation at his meeting. On the ride from Station 51 to Newberry Hill, Danskin could see Thornton combing his mind for reasons he could be disciplined.

Instead Curley and crew thrust a camera in his face and revealed the ruse. Since then Thornton has gotten e-mails and in-person teasing for his new title.

Thornton has been in the Puget Sound region for about 15 years. He has lived in East Bremerton and been with CKFR for the past four years. Before that he lived in Mukilteo, where he was a volunteer firefighter.

Now Thornton is busy filling ice cream orders and avoiding any more attention. But that may be difficult to do.

Depending on the call, Thornton is sometimes introduced as the sexiest firefighter, a title that tends to stick around. A past winner is still hearing those words six years later.

“Hopefully it sticks with him for awfully long time,” Danskin said. “If his shift mates have anything to say about it, it will.”

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