House fire that killed LACoFD firefighter started from electrical problem, official says

Jonathan Flagler was overcome with smoke and later died at the hospital


Emily Rasmussen
The Orange County Register

LOS ANGELES — An electrical problem caused the house fire that cost a Los Angeles County firefighter his life in Rancho Palos Verdes in January, a fire official said on Wednesday, March 23.

The fire stemmed from electricity in a wall, Los Angeles County fire Capt. Raul Ramirez said.

Fire officials declined to elaborate on Wednesday, March 23, with one saying that was because the fire was still under investigation.

Jonathan Flagler was one of the Los Angeles County firefighters battling the blaze when he was overcome with smoke and fire while inside of the home in the 30700 block of Tarapaca Road. Flagler, 47, died at the hospital shortly after.

Family, friends, and firefighters gathered at a memorial service for Los Angeles County firefighter Jonathan Flagler, who died battling a house fire in Rancho Palos Verdes on Jan. 6. The service was held at Cottonwood Church in Los Alamitos on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022. 
Family, friends, and firefighters gathered at a memorial service for Los Angeles County firefighter Jonathan Flagler, who died battling a house fire in Rancho Palos Verdes on Jan. 6. The service was held at Cottonwood Church in Los Alamitos on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022.  (Photo/Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

The homeowners have described waking up around 2 a.m. on Jan. 6 to the sounds of fire alarms beeping, then seeing smoke when they rushed outside.

A few weeks later, hundreds of firefighters, friends and family members gathered to honor Flagler during a memorial service in Los Alamitos. The San Clemente family man is survived by his wife and two teenage sons.

Flagler was a firefighter for 21 years, serving 19 of them with the Vernon Fire Department before joining the Los Angeles County Fire Department in 2020 when the county took over fire services for that city.

He grew up in the South Bay. Working at Fire Station 83 in Rancho Palos Verdes was a homecoming of sorts for him, those who knew him said at the memorial.

©2022 MediaNews Group, Inc. Visit ocregister.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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