DELANO, California (KSEE) – It was a very emotional day in the South Valley, as the community laid to rest one of two Porterville Firefighters who died last week.
The funeral mass for 35-year-old Ray Figuera was at 10 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Delano followed by a burial at North Kern Cemetery.
“Devastation,” said Figueroa’s cousin Ester James. “He is just so young.”
Hundreds gathered at the church as the casket for Figueroa was escorted by the Porterville Fire Department into the service.
Around 20 agencies from around the state and nation were present including Santa Monica, Farmersville, Orange Cove, and the U.S. Fire Service.
“When one person hurts we all hurt,” said Tulare Fire Captain Charlie Norman. “These two firefighters were so young and we just reach out our hearts to their families.”
It was a somber sight at the cemetery as the community saluted Figueroa for one last time.
Amazing Grace played in the background, as the Porterville Fire Captain handed Figueroa’s mother the American flag from her son’s casket.
“He is looking down to all of this thinking oh my goodness,” said James. “It is just an outpouring of love and support for the family.”
“He carried the fire service with high honor and pride,” said CalFire Captain Andrew Overbay.
“Along with his children. The same honor. And if I could emulate that I would be a very happy person to do so.”
The funeral for 25-year-old Patrick Jones will be on Thursday in Tulare City. A joint service will be held in Porterville on Friday.