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Saturday, June 4, 2011

DOUBLE LODD: Second SFFD Firefighter dies from on duty injuries

A second San Francisco firefighter died in early this morning, victim of a deadly house fire in San Francisco's Diamond Heights neighborhood.

Anthony "Tony" Valerio, a 53-year-old firefighter and paramedic critically injured in the Thursday blaze, died at San Francisco General Hospital at about 7:40 a.m. this morning.

The fire department held a press conference Saturday morning in front of San Francisco General Hospital where Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White, flanked by Mayor Ed Lee and surrounded by an estimated 100 firefighters, announced that veteran firefighter Anthony Valerio had died at 7:40 a.m. that today.
Firefighter, Paramedic Anthony Valerio.
Courtesy San Francisco Fire Dept.
Valerio, 53, and colleague Fire Lieutenant Vincent Perez, 48, were both rushed to the hospital after they were found badly injured during the Thursday morning blaze inside a four-story home at 131 Berkeley Way.

Perez died upon arriving at the hospital after going into cardiac arrest.

Valerio had fought for life for almost two days after being pulled from the blaze with Perez, but his lungs were damaged from smoke and filled with fluid, Tom O'Connor, president of the San Francisco firefighter union, had said Friday. Valerio also suffered a heart attack at the scene of the fire.

He needed a ventilator to breathe and was "medically paralyzed," his family had said.

Public memorial service for both SFFD Lt Vincent Perez and FF/PM Anthony Valerio will be held at St. Mary's Cathedral and is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. this Friday

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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