It’s being reported that San Francisco Fire Fighter Anthony Valerio passed away this morning as a result of injuries sustained while operating the Diamond Heights fire on Thursday June 2nd. This becomes the second line of duty death from this incident that also resulted in the LODD of Lt. Vincent Perez. Anthony “Tony” Valerio, a 53-year-old firefighter and paramedic critically injured in the Thursday blaze, died at San Francisco General Hospital at about 7:40 a.m., city officials said.
San Francisco firefighter Anthony Valerio is the second firefighter to die from Thursday’s Diamond Heights fire. According to San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White, Valerio had “significant damage to his respiratory system” and burns across his body after Thursday’s fire. Valerio has burns to 12 percent of his body.
WKGO TV ABC7 reports that according to San Francisco Fire Deputy Chief Mike Gardner said most of Fire Fighter Valerio’s burns were from steam and not from fire, adding that the temperature inside the structure was between 500 and 700 degrees.
- link: Clips of SF Fire radio dispatch from fire
- Story: What happened: Inside the burning Diamond Heights home
- Logs show desperate hunt for doomed SF firefighters, HERE
Updated Sunday June 5
San Francisco’s fire chief says this is the first time in her 21 years with the department that two firefighters have died in the same fire.
Slowly and silently, Valerio’s body was wheeled to an awaiting van; the silence finally broken by the rain and his family’s tears. The pain hung in the air outside San Francisco General Hospital – a place that became a gathering spot for the hopeful. Valerio’s family and friends had been there around the clock since Thursday. Valerio and Perez were rushed to the hospital after the two were found unresponsive inside a burning house in Diamond Heights – a sudden blast knocked them down. Perez died late Thursday. From Reports published by WKGO-TV ABC 7 ; “It is particularly difficult, you’re mourning the loss of one and then to have another one very close from the same fire is challenging,” said San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White.
Saturday was the first time Valerio’s doctors gave details about the uphill battle the 53-year-old faced – including the fact that he was in cardiac arrest the moment he arrived at SF General.
“Between all the injuries he had from the initial blast, the smoke inhalation, the fact that he had a really bad lung injury, which was precipitated by what happened on the scene, but we try to do everything we can,” said SF General Hospital Dr. Andre Campbell.
But in the end it wasn’t enough. On this day, the firefighter’s two families, his work family at Station 26 and his immediate family – realized Valerio’s 40 hour long fight to survive was over.
The fire department and the families have agreed to have a joint funeral for both Tony Valerio and Lt. Perez on Friday at Saint Mary’s Cathedral.
Previous postings from Commandsafety.com;
Updates from San Francisco;
- From KCBS: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2011/06/03/san-francisco-firefighter-remains-critical-fallen-colleague-mourned/
- New Photos; http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/photo-galleries/2011/06/02/firefighter-killed-in-san-francisco-blaze/
- From KTVU; http://www.ktvu.com/index.html
- Injured Firefighter Remains In Critical Condition
- SAN FRANCISCO: Raw Interview With Injured Firefighter’s Brother On Family’s Vigil
- SLIDESHOW: Images From Fatal Diamond Heights Blaze
- SAN FRANCISCO: Emergency Call Audio Reveals Desperate Attempts To Save Injured Firefighters
- One Firefighter Dies, Another Struggles To Survive
Coincidentially, we posted a remembrance to the DCFD Cherry Road Townhouse Fire and Double FireFighter LODD from May, 1999 that is worth another look as it has similar connotations related to fire behavior, flashover conditions and multiple floor level construction factors during initial fire suppression operations, HERE