These undated photos provided by the Porterville, Calif., Fire Department show firefighter Patrick Jones, left, and Capt. Raymond Figueroa. (Porterville Fire Department via AP)
UPDATED 12:03 PM PT — Friday, February 21, 2020
A community in Central California mourned the loss of two firefighters who died while battling a fire at a historic library. 25-year-old Patrick Jones and 35-year-old Fire Captain Raymond Figueroa died Tuesday in the blaze at the public library in Porterville.
Figueroa was pronounced dead at the hospital and authorities recovered Jones’ body inside the library on Wednesday night. Both of the firefighters had gone inside the building to make sure everyone was out.
Jones began as a Reserve Firefighter before becoming full-time in 2017. Figueroa started as a firefighter in 2007 and was promoted to Engineer before becoming a captain.
Residents said they’re heartbroken over the loss.
“It’s sad it really is, like kids started this fire and now some kid doesn’t have his dad and that’s sad,” stated Porterville resident Crystal Fischer.
Authorities have arrested two 13-year-old boys in connection with the deadly blaze. They’re facing charges of suspicion of arson, manslaughter and conspiracy.