Memorial Service Announced for L.A. County Firefighter Killed in House Fire


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LOS ALAMITOS (CNS) - A memorial service will be held next week for a Los Angeles County firefighter who died battling a house fire in Rancho Palos Verdes, authorities announced today.

The service for Jonathan Flagler will be held at 10 a.m. on Jan. 21 at Cottonwood Church, 4505 Katella Ave., the Los Angeles County Fire Department reported.

Flagler, 47, was overcome by smoke and flames while battling the fire that was reported about 2 a.m. on Jan. 6 in the 30700 block of Tarapaca Road.

He was pulled from the inferno by fellow firefighters from Fire Station 83, and was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, according to the county fire department. No other injuries were reported. When fire crews and Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies arrived on the scene of the fire, residents of the home were already outside.

``Family, friends, and colleagues will gather for a memorial service to remember Fire Fighter Flagler who dedicated more than 21 years of faithful service to the community,'' the county fire department said Thursday in a statement.

Flagler is survived by his wife Jenny and their teenage sons, Brody and Jack.

``Fire Fighter Flagler was a devoted husband, father, uncle, friend and hero,'' the fire department statement said. ``He was a highly respected and esteemed LACoFD firefighter who truly embodied our core values of courage, caring, commitment, community, integrity and teamwork while on- and off-the job. Fire Fighter Flagler will be tremendously missed by all of us -- and we will never forget him.''

Among those expected to attend the memorial service are interim county Fire Chief Anthony Marrone, who had addressed reporters on the day of the fatal blaze.

``They were engaged in a firefight at a one-story single-family dwelling,'' Marrone said. ``... We believe that the fire was in the attic. The smoke and the fire overcame (the firefighter). He put out a `mayday' for assistance from the other firefighters that were at the scene, and they were able to quickly locate him, rescue him and start the lifesaving procedures as necessary.''

Flagler was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, where he died.

Marrone said Flagler began his career with the city of Vernon in 2002. That agency was taken over by the county fire department in 2020. The chief called Flagler ``one of our bravest.''

``Right now the fire department's priority is the care of his wife and two teenage boys and the care and support of our fire family -- and those are the brothers and sisters in uniform today who are serving the residents and communities that we are sworn to protect,'' Marrone said.

County Supervisor Janice Hahn called it ``a devastating day for L.A. County.''

``His bravery and his sacrifice will never be forgotten,'' Hahn said. ``It's a good reminder for all of us that it is our first responders, it is our law enforcement, it is our firefighters who don't think twice when the bell is rung to respond to whatever is out there. They have no idea until they get there. I'm sure he had no idea when he left when he put his equipment on that sadly he wouldn't be coming back. But we are devastated by this loss.''

Rancho Palos Verdes Mayor Dave Bradley issued a statement saying the city joins with the fire department and county in mourning the firefighter's death.

"We send our heartfelt condolences and prayers to the family of this fallen hero, as well as his courageous fellow firefighters at Station No. 83 in Rancho Palos Verdes,'' Bradley said. ``We are keeping his family, the firefighters of Station No. 83 and the entire Los Angeles County Fire Department family in our thoughts. The city will never forget his sacrifice and courage.''

Shortly after midday on Jan. 6, Flagler's body was carried in a solemn procession from Harbor-UCLA Medical Center to the coroner's facility near downtown Los Angeles. Flagler's wife and children were in the procession, which included hundreds of law enforcement and fire department personnel.

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