Porterville faith community honoring fallen firefighters on first Sunday since library fire

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PORTERVILLE, Calif. (KSEE) — The Porterville community still reeling after a deadly library fire. Capt. Ray Figueroa, 35, and firefighter Patrick Jones, 25, were both killed battling the blaze.

The faith community in Porterville came together on the first Sunday, since the fire, to remember the two fallen firefighters.

The words of Amazing Grace echoed throughout Holy Cross Catholic Church. Many praying for the family and friends of Figueroa and Jones. 

“We pray for the families and the souls of the two firemen,” said parishioner Joe Avalos.

This last week has been a tough one for the whole community.

Avalos and his wife, Margie Avalos say everyone has been affected by the deadly fire in some way.

“It’s was very emotional for me knowing that my grandson is a firefighter here for Porterville,” she said. 

While the Avalos’ are thankful their grandson is okay, their hearts still heavy over the loss of Figueroa and Jones.”It’s very fresh in our minds, all this tragedy,” Avalos said.

But the community staying strong, leaning on their faith to get them through.

“The whole community has been brought together by this horrible tragedy, I think all the faith community in Porterville has responded as this community does in unity and with a common vision for healing,” said Monsignor Scott Daugherty with the Holy Cross Church in Porterville. 

The church honoring the fallen with song and prayers at each service, dedicating this small memorial to both firefighters and all the first responders.

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