A veteran Los Angeles firefighter who responded to a fire in an attic fire early Thursday morning has died after being taken out of the house by his teammates.
LA County Firefighters said Jonathan Flagler, 47, responded to a call around 2:50 a.m. regarding a house fire in the 30700 block of Tarapaca Road in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn told a news conference Thursday that firefighters were able to save the family from inside the burning house, “but tragically one of our own firefighters in the Los Angeles County lost his life in the effort “.
Flagler was seriously injured and rushed to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance where he later succumbed to his injuries. Authorities confirmed Flagler’s name on Thursday afternoon after his family were able to bid their final farewells to the deceased firefighter.
“Smoke and fire have engulfed my limb,” Acting Fire Chief Anthony Marrone said at the press conference. “He launched a Mayday to get help from the other firefighters who were on the scene and they were able to quickly locate him, rescue him and initiate rescue procedures if necessary.
“They valiantly fought to save his life and unfortunately that did not happen.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Cal / OSHA homicide office and arson investigators will continue to investigate the cause of the blaze, Lt.Charles Calderaro said at the press conference.
“When you see firefighters throughout your community today, it doesn’t matter where you live, whatever city you are in… know that they are there for you and that they are ready to risk their lives for you. ”Said Marrone. . “And we certainly appreciate the outpouring of prayers and support.”
Fire crews led a solemn 20-mile procession from Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance to the LA County Medical Examiner’s Office on Thursday afternoon.
Flagler leaves behind a wife and two teenage boys. He was a 21-year fire service veteran and worked with the Vernon Fire Department for 19 years before being transferred to the LA County Fire Department in October 2020.
“It is devastating and my prayers go out to his wife and two young sons as well as his friends and fellow fire fighters and everyone who knew and loved him,” Hahn said in a tweet. “His bravery and sacrifice will not be forgotten. “
LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said she was saddened by the loss of a courageous member of the department.
“Our LA County Fire Department tragically lost one of its brave firefighters today,” Barger said in a statement. “While waiting to learn more, my heart is heavy and I am deeply saddened. He made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the line of duty. I extend my deepest condolences to his family and fellow firefighters. His bravery will not be forgotten.