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Friends, family, community mourn loss of fire fighter in devastating Thomas Fire

Friends, family, community mourn loss of fire fighter in devastating Thomas Fire

Posted: Dec. 18, 2017 11:48 AM
Updated: Dec. 18, 2017 12:02 PM

Solemn procession through Southern California as the body of a firefighter, who died battling the Thomas fire, was returned home.

It's a brotherhood.

Not all of the firefighters and first responders who lined up along the procession route for Cory Iverson knew him personally. But they all feel the pain of his passing.

“It's just tough to talk about because number one he was really young, he's got a wife and two year old and she's pregnant with his second,” said Bruce Cartelli, retired San Diego City fire chief

The 32 year old was killed Thursday battling the Thomas Fire in Ventura County. The coroner said he died of smoke inhalation and burns, but the exact details of his death aren't yet known.

Still, many are calling the engineer a hero.

“With Cory they said he got his guys out first, he didn't get out. Captain of the ship,” Catelli said.

It's not just firefighters and first responders who have come out here, there are also folks from the community who wanted to pay their respects and show support to the Iverson family.

“Hopefully the family will see us and know that they're not alone and have a lot of prayers and support coming their way,” said Bob Godwin, who came to mourn the fallen fire fighter.

Community members also want to show their appreciation to the firefighters who are still putting their lives on the line, battling blazes across southern California.

”These guys have to push forward knowing that one of their brothers has fallen,’ said Sarah Ramos-Evinger, another mourner. “They have to continue to do their job and serve our community.”

Firefighters admit they are heartbroken, but say they all get into this knowing the risks.

“That's what the job was, you never thought about it,” Cartelli said. “You just did what the mission dictated you do, and that's what he did.”

All 17 of the firefighters on Iverson’s strike team were pulled off the fire lines. They had been at the Thomas Fire since Dec. 5.

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