Mourners honor firefighter killed in the Porterville library fire; ‘They keep the rest of us safe’

Local News

Patrick Jones, 25, was one of two firefighters to die while battling a fire at the Porterville City Library

TULARE, California (KGPE) — Mourners from all over the world traveled to Tulare to honor the life of Firefighter Patrick Jones as he was laid to rest.

Firefighter Jones was one of the two killed in the Porterville library fire on Feb. 18.

Thursday’s ceremony began with Porterville Police leading a procession from Peers Lorentzen Funeral Services to Tulare United Methodist Church. The path was lined with public safety personnel, as well as onlookers there to support.

The service quickly reached full capacity with mourners from all over the Central Valley, California, and even a firefighter from France. Also in the crowd, a friend of Jones’ grandfather, David Beam.

“[His grandfather] called me when [the fire happened] and he was pretty broken, naturally,” Beam said.

Beam said he didn’t know 25-year-old Jones much in his adult life, but he remembers him well as a young boy.

“He was a smart kid. I think that’s what makes it so tragic. We’ve lost a good young man,” he said.

Beam’s son, Bryan Beam, has made a point to attend various public safety personnel’s funerals over the years. He says it’s just the right thing to do.

“Kind of makes your skin crawl, [the fact] that this is what these people do for us. They keep the rest of us safe and taken care of,” Bryan Beam said.

The father-son duo know the pain is still too much in their friends’ hearts, but they also know the Jones family will make it through this.

“He’ll be missed, but they’ll carry on. They’re tough people. They’ll get through it,” David Beam said.

There was no graveside service after the funeral.

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