VIDEO: Friends, family and colleagues gathered Tuesday to remember a 29-year-old Cal Fire firefighter from Escondido who suffered a medical emergency during a training hike with his engine crew.
Yaroslav Katkov was airlifted to Temecula Valley Hospital on July 28 in critical condition and pronounced dead at 3:07 a.m. July 29, according to Cal Fire Chief Tony Mecham. The cause of death is still under investigation.
Katkov, who immigrated from Ukraine as a child, joined Cal Fire last August as a seasonal firefighter and was assigned to Station 16 in the unincorporated area of De Luz, six miles northwest of Fallbrook. Katkov was born in December 1990 and his family relocated to Toronto, Canada in 1994. The family would subsequently move to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and, in 1998, to San Diego County, where Katkov attended Scripps Ranch High School.