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Friday, June 3, 2011

Update: SFFD LODD - 1 Firefighter dead, 1 clinging to life

“His whole life was dedicated to serving the community,” she said. “Our hearts are heavy today.”
- Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White
SFFD Staged at LODD scene
Credit: screenshot from NBC video
SFFD-LODD-Diamond heights home fire scene
The Blaze: While fighting the blaze, one firefighter’s personal alarm activated, Talmadge said. The alarm sounded right after what firefighters described as a “flashover,” a sudden burst of fire that occurs as oxygen is let into a superheated room.

Additional firefighters had to carry Perez and Valerio out on stretchers. A third, female firefighter also was injured but able to exit without help.
All three were taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where Perez died and Valerio fought for his life into the night.

The third firefighter, whose name was not released, was discharged in fair condition.
The woman and three children in the home at the time escaped unharmed.

SFFD briefing at Diamond heights home fire scene
LODD: The Firefighter killed in the Line of Duty was San Francisco Fire Department Lt. Vincent Perez,  a former Marine, had served as a jailer at the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department before becoming a San Francisco firefighter in 1990.
Perez first fought blazes in the Mission district, where he was born and raised. Two of his brothers also work in public safety, as police officers in Oakland and San Francisco.
Fellow firefighters used to call Perez “Creature” because he would get up late at night and rummage around the station refrigerator looking for food. “He’d eat dinner before dinner, and dinner after dinner,” O’Connor recalled. “He’d have five meals a night.”

A flashover engulfed Vincent and two other Firefighters during firefighting operations at a diamond heights house fire, the same flash-over seriously injured FF Anthony Valerio.
  Firefighter Tony Valerio continues to battle for his life today at SFGH with his family by his side and SFFD Firefighters gathered nearby.
 Valerio is a veteran paramedic with a passion for medicine. He cross-trained as a firefighter after paramedics were transferred to the Fire Department in 1997.
When he isn’t working, he’d be surfing or kayaking the beaches of Pacifica. Despite thinning hair, the free-spirited veteran never shed his ponytail.
Funeral: 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

Watch the building erupt in a series of pictures from NBC:
Investigation: CALOSHA and CALEMA, SFFD investigators are on the scene today.
Emotion overflows for San Francisco firefighter killed in house fire
Injured San Francisco Firefighter Clinging to life - Link
Logs show desperate hunt for doomed SF firefighters

“It’s especially difficult in the Twin Peaks area, where houses are basically upside-down,” “You have to approach a fire by going on top of it.” said Tom O’Connor, president of Firefighters Local 798.

Note: Flashover -Situation when the heat in a room reaches ignition point and turns all the flammables into fuel at once.

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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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