Calif. FD to hold virtual memorial on anniversary of library fire that killed 2 FFs
The memorial service for Porterville Fire Department Capt. Ramon Figueroa and Firefighter Patrick Jones will be broadcast at 4 p.m. PST
By Laura French
PORTERVILLE, Calif. — The Porterville Fire Department in California will hold a virtual memorial ceremony on Thursday to commemorate the first anniversary of a library blaze that killed a Porterville fire captain and firefighter last year.
Porterville Fire Department Capt. Ramon Figueroa, 35, and Firefighter Patrick Jones, 25, died battling the blaze at the Porterville City Library building on Feb. 18, 2020. Figueroa and Jones were the first firefighters to arrive at the scene, and a mayday call was made shortly after they entered the building, according to the Visalia Times Delta.
Figueroa's death was announced the night of the fire, and Jones remained missing until the following night, when his body was recovered from the building. Officials said there were no sprinklers inside the library. Two juveniles, both 13 years old at the time of the incident, were arrested after the fire and later charged with murder and arson; their case is currently ongoing.
The prerecorded virtual memorial ceremony will be broadcast on the Porterville Fire Department Facebook page beginning at 4 p.m. PST Thursday afternoon. The video includes an Honor Guard ceremony and speeches from Fire Chief Dave LaPere, family members of the fallen firefighters and other community leaders, according to the department.
Dispatch will also alert all Porterville stations at 4:16 p.m. to hold a moment of silence in honor of Figueroa and Jones, marking the exact time they entered the burning library.