A memorial service for interim Assistant Chief Sean Laffan was held Monday from Oakland Fire Station 5 on 34th Street to the Chapel of the Chimes on Piedmont Avenue.
Laffan was 42 years old when he died Nov. 16 from a heart attack. He had collapsed at about 5 p.m. at the Oakland Fire Department's offices at 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza and was rushed to Summit Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead later that night.
A procession from the chapel to Sacramento followed.
Laffan, a native of Santa Clara and resident of Sacramento, graduated from the Fire Academy in 2000 and began his career with the Oakland
department. He was promoted to assistant chief in June.
He is survived by his parents, his wife Sabrina, and three sons Cooper, Connor and Caeden, who is a probationary firefighter with the Oakland Fire Department.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Oakland and will go to support young people in Oakland.
KTVU-TV Fox 2 Oakland
There’s no doubt that many nerves are raw after a devastating and deadly fire season. Now as temperatures drop, there are increasing concerns with a rise in homeless camp fires.
“Every winter we see a change in our calls and right now we are seeing more calls from our transient population,” said Sacramento Fire Department spokesperson Chris Vestal.
The Sacramento Area Firefighter’s Union posted its concerns on Facebook, saying it is seeing everything from small debris fires to garbage can flames right next to buildings. Firefighters are worried the fires will trap people living in the camps or spread to homes and businesses.
“It’s just freezing weather. To be outside with ten tarps and three blankets doesn’t suffice for anybody,” said Bobbie Wooten, founder of Feed Sacramento Homeless.
Wooten said she understands fire fears but is also concerned about an underlying problem. Wooten points to the pandemic forcing people out of work and onto the street. It’s a problem city leaders struggle to address.
KOVR-TV CBS 13 Sacramento
Firefighters say a quick response from neighbors helped them prevent tragedy at an apartment fire in central Fresno.
One of the units went up in flames near Clark and Belmont just after 10 pm Friday.
People in neighboring units called 911 and evacuated the complex safely.
Firefighters put the flames out in just a few minutes and kept the fire from damaging other units.
Investigators say smoke detectors in the apartment complex helped speed up their response.
"That's what we want to hear, we want to know that that's one of the reasons we were able to keep the fire as small as it was," says Bob Camp with the Fresno Fire Department. "Those early-detection devices are critical in the success."
One man who lived in that affected apartment is now displaced. The cause of this fire is now under investigation.
KFSN-TV ABC 30 Frenso/Visalia
Firefighters have stopped the spread of a vegetation fire that grew to 10 acres near Japatul Valley Road, Cal Fire San Diego said Friday.
The Hawk Fire was reported at around 1 p.m. near Japatul Valley Road and Red Hawk Ridge. The fire was growing at a moderate rate of spread, Cal Fire said. As SkyRanger 7 flew overhead the fire, multiple engines were seen on the ground and helicopters were seen dropping water.
By 2 p.m., Cal Fire said firefighters were making good progress and an hour later the spread had been stopped.
KNBC-TV NBC 4 Los Angeles
A two-alarm fire Thursday night at an apartment building in Fremont displaced 17 people.
Firefighters with the Fremont Fire Department responded at 7:07 p.m. Thursday to a two-story apartment building at 350 Franciscan Court, fire officials said. Responding firefighters located flames and heavy smoke coming from an upstairs unit.
Crews were able to put out the blaze, but the blaze destroyed one unit and impacted eight additional units, firefighters said.
Fourteen adults and three children were displaced and the American Red Cross responded to the scene to assist them.
There were no reported injuries.
KTVU-TV Fox 2 Oakland
Sid Hultquist held back tears as he embraced Louis “Rooster” Abeita Jr., the “little 4-year-old boy” he helped save after Abeita's mother found his lifeless body floating in a backyard swimming pool nearly 34 years ago.
Hultquist, an assistant fire chief for the Barstow Fire Department, reunited with Abeita, now 37, on Monday during an informal celebration inside the fire district's headquarters on Barstow Road.
“This is the young man who impacted my life over 33 years ago,” Hultquist told Abeita’s family, friends and a group of firefighters who gathered for the event.
Standing next to Medic Engine 361, Hultquist held the station’s logbook and pointed to the drowning call on Date Avenue. It was recorded Jan. 29, 1987. The call and date, Hultquist said, are “permanently engraved” on his heart and mind. They serve as constant reminders as to why he became a first responder.