21-Year Veteran Firefighter Dies In Rancho Palos Verdes Fire, Department 'Devastated'
The Los Angeles County Fire Department has identified the firefighter killed while responding to an overnight structure fire in Ranchos Palos Verdes.
Jonathan Flagler was overcome with smoke and fire, according to interim county Fire Chief Anthony Marrone. His crew responded to a residential structure fire in Rancho Palos Verdes at around 2:49 a.m.
“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 life-saving procedures as necessary,” Marrone said in a press conference. “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.”
Flagler was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, where he was later pronounced dead.
The department announced the loss Thursday morning on Twitter.
“We extend our deepest condolences and prayers to the fallen firefighter’s family, friends, and loved ones along with everyone in our department who is mourning this heartbreaking loss,” read the statement.
Flagler was a 21-year veteran firefighter who was “one of our bravest,” Marrone said. He first worked 19 years in the city of Vernon before joining the county fire department in October 2020.
It is with great sorrow the #LACoFD share the unexpected passing of FF Jonathan Flagler. At approximately 2:49 a.m. this morning, Fire Fighter Flagler sustained fatal injuries while engaged in firefighting operations at a single-family residence in Rancho Palos Verdes. pic.twitter.com/zK6wLwp2Tp— LACoFD (@LACOFD) January 6, 2022
“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,” Chief Marrone said.
In a news conference where L.A. city officials provided an update on the city's response to Covid earlier today, Mayor Eric Garcetti called or a moment of silence to honor Flagler.