‘Unite and donate and reach out’: how Porterville is recovering from the deadly library fire


PORTERVILLE, California (KGPE) – The City of Porterville continues to work through the pain of losing two firefighters killed battling a blaze at the Porterville Public Library.

Flowers and balloons adorned the fence surrounding the now charred public library that went up in flames last Tuesday. The fire claimed the lives of 35-year-old Captain Ray Figueroa and 25-year-old Firefighter Patrick Jones.

“I love our firefighters, so, appreciate everything they did,” said Janette tree, a Porterville resident. 

The small community shattered from the tragedy, now working on healing.  On Monday, they opened up a temporary library where people could donate to help replenish what was lost. 

“We have a lot of people reaching out to us stating that they wanted to donate and so forth, so with that we were like OK, so management set this up,” said Porterville Public Library assistant Veronica Garcia.

Garcia says the temporary library on Main Street and Thurman Avenue is only opened this week until Saturday, between 8 a.m and 5 p.m.

Residents who want to donate books can drop them off there, as well as anyone who has anything they checked out before the fire. Locals say it’s great to see so many supporting the small community.

“I think it’s been the one little blessing that comes with such a terrible tragedy, to see the City of Porterville unite and donate and reach out to they are brothers and sisters who are hurting at this time,” Tree said. 

The Porterville Breakfast Rotary Club is also supporting the hundreds of firefighters who will be visiting from all over the states on Friday for the memorial services.

“Friday after the memorial service we’re hoping that we can just show our appreciation and support for everything they’re doing for us and give them a warm meal,” said President of the Porterville Breakfast Rotary Club Catie Puett.

If you would like to donate funds to the breakfast rotary club, donations can be dropped off at any of the following Main Street locations:

  • Home Realty
  • Stafford’s Chocolate’s 
  • Bank of Sierra

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