Monday, June 06, 2011

Article on two San Francisco firefighters killed in flashover.

From SF Weekly:

Vincent Perez, Anthony Valerio, S.F. Firefighters Killed in Blaze, to be Honored Friday at Funeral

Categories: Local News
Tony Valerio
San Francisco Fire Department will gather on Friday to honor two of their own who were killed while battling a blaze at a Diamond Heights home last week. Lieutenant Vincent Perez, 48, died Thursday after the fire and Anthony "Tony" Valerio, 53, was pronounced dead on Saturday morning.

The double funerals will be held Friday at St. Mary's Cathedral on Gough Street. The time is tentatively set for 12:30 p.m.

Fire Chief Joanna Hayes-White released a statement on Saturday, shortly after Valerio died: "This has been an extremely difficult time for the members of the San Francisco Fire Department," she said. "Their deaths have left all of our members with heavy hearts -- they will be greatly missed."

Niether Perez nor Valerio were married or had children. Both were experienced firefighters who served on Engine Company 26. They were two of 30 firefighters who responded to the major blaze on Thursday morning at about 10:45 a.m. at 133 Berkeley Way. A woman and her children escaped the house fire, but both Perez and Valerio were upstairs in a room when a "flashover" occurred. That happens when temperatures rise so much that everything in the room ignites at one time. When fire officials found them, the two were badly burned and knocked unconscious.

Vincent Perez
Perez died about an hour later, while Valerio clung to life at San Francisco General Hospital, with friends and family by his bedside. Although firefighters were not feeling optimistic as of Friday; they told SF Weekly, they were expecting that Valerio would not make it. He died at 7:45 a.m. the following day.

Valerio served the city for 27 years, 13 of which were with the Department of Public Health, and 14 years with the Fire Department. He grew up in the Bay Area, attended El Camino High School, City College of San Francisco, and then San Francisco State University, according to fire officials.

Perez, who was also raised in the Bay Area, was a 21-year veteran of the San Francisco Fire Department. He had served as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps.

San Francisco Fire Fighters Local 798 has established Trust Accounts at the San Francisco Fire Credit Union (SFFCU) for Perez and Valerio's families. Contribution can be sent to SFFCU, 3201 Cailfornia St., San Francisco, CA 94118 or made through

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