Names of firefighters killed in LA Station Fire added to memorial wall
The 2 were killed when their emergency response vehicle careened off a road as the wildfire burned near a fire camp
By Nathan McIntire
The Pasadena Star—News
LOS ANGELES — The names of the two Los Angeles County firefighters who lost their lives in the Station Fire were added to a memorial wall Wednesday in a ceremony honoring fallen heroes.
Dozens of somber firefighters stood in line at the county Fire Department's East Los Angeles headquarters to pay their respects to Capt. Tedmund "Ted" Hall and firefighter specialist Arnaldo "Arnie" Quinones. Three helicopters flew over the crowd, which included dozens of family members.
Hall and Quinones were killed last August when their emergency response vehicle careened off a road as the wildfire burned near a fire camp in the Angeles National Forest.
"They are our heroes, our beacons, our landmarks, our examples of continued service to others," said Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief P. Michael Freeman. "We will never forget them and that is what this memorial wall is all about."
In all, four firefighters who died last year in the line of duty or of illnesses had their names engraved into the marble wall, bringing the total number of names to 69.
"Dedicated to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the performance of their duty," the wall reads.
Firefighter specialist Tonya Burns and firefighter specialist Richard Carr were the other two honored. They each died after battles with illnesses.
Hall and Quinones were attempting to find an escape route for inmate-firefighters trapped at Camp 16, when their vehicle drove off a steep canyon. The Station Fire eventually burned 250 square miles of the forest and destroyed more than 200 structures.
Chaplain Scott Zbinden read a letter he received from another firefighter describing Hall, who was known as a loyal and an extremely hard-working firefighter.
"Ted Hall did not just pass through life — he hustled," Zbinden said. "His work ethic was hearty and his stamina was legendary."
Chaplain Rich Hall spoke about Quinones' life. He was born in Manhattan and attended high school in the Antelope Valley. Quinones was a friendly and dedicated firefighter and family man, the chaplain said.
"The moment that Arnie walked into the room, people couldn't help but smile, because he always had a smile on his face," Hall said. "Let us make a commitment to never forget the tremendous sacrifice that Arnie made on that hot August day."
Less than a month after Quinones perished in the fire, his widow, Lori Quinones, gave birth to his baby girl, Sophia.
Quinones' brother, Ozzie Quinones Jr., came from Lancaster for the ceremony, which he called "incredible."
Sophia will be able to look back on the event and remember her father's commitment to service, he said.
"She'll always know that her father was honored and was an L.A. County hero," said Quinones.
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