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Community prepares to honor fallen South Valley heroes

DELANO, California (KGPE) – On Monday, the community came together to honor and grieve the loss of the two firefighters who died in last week’s Porterville Public Library Fire.

The funeral for 35-year-old Porterville Firefighter Ray Figueroa will be held at St. Mary’s Church in Delano. The community also held a rosary ceremony to honor Figueroa’s courageous actions when he gave his life in the line of duty.

“It’s tragic when there is a loss,” said Kingsburg Fire Captain Jeremy Owen. “But it humbles us to remember that every day is precious.”

Twenty-five-year-old Porterville Firefighter Patrick Jones also died in the fire. He will be laid to est on Thursday in Tulare. A joint memorial will be held to honor both lives on Friday in Porterville.

“We are expecting a large amount of not only civilians but public agencies and government officials to come into the area,” said Tulare Fire Department Spokesperson.

The Porterville Firefighters will have the full week off and will return to the line of duty on Sunday. Other agencies including Merced, Clovis, Fresno, and Kingsburg will cover in the meantime.

“Those two gentlemen served honorably and I am humbled to be able to support them,” said Owen. “I couldn’t imagine what their families are going through but we are here to support them and put the weight on our shoulders and carry them through this tragic time.”

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