A Los Angeles County firefighter, 21-year-old firefighter and father of two teen boys, died Thursday after being injured in a house fire in Rancho Palos Verdes.
Firefighters were called to the 30700 block of Tarabakka Road at 2:20 p.m.
Interim leader Anthony Marron said firefighters were inside the home, helping to rescue family members who were rescued by smoke and fire.
“He released a platform to help other firefighters,” Marron said. “They were able to find him and rescue him.”
Firefighter Jonathan Flockler later died at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
Los Angeles County Superintendent Janice Hahn reported the firefighter was pronounced dead.
“They were able to save the family inside, but unfortunately, one of our own Los Angeles County firefighters lost his life in that attempt,” Hahn said. “It was devastating and my prayers are with his wife and two young sons and his friends and colleagues in the fire department and everyone who knew and loved him. His courage and sacrifice will never be forgotten.”
At a morning news conference, Hahn said it was a “sad, tragic day” for Los Angeles County.
The cause of the fire is being investigated.
A member of the sheriff’s department said fire inspectors were working with other companies at the scene. He said the case would not be considered a criminal investigation.
The hospital in Carson had fire trucks and other department vehicles Thursday morning. Maron said he came to the hospital hoping to hear the injured firefighter survived.
“He lost his life fighting that fire to save someone’s property,” Marron said. “All the preliminary information we have at present leads to the belief that the products of the fire and combustion were the cause of his death.”
The body was taken in procession from the hospital to the medical examiner’s office in Boyle Heights. Firefighters arrived in a fire truck and saluted from the freeway overpasses.
Flockler Vernon worked in the fire department for 19 years before joining the Los Angeles County Agency in October 2020.