SAN DIEGO (CBSLA) — A multi-county funeral procession was held Sunday for San Diego firefighter Cory Iverson, who died battling the Thomas fire.
The Ventura County Medical Examiner said Iverson died of burns and smoke inhalation. The 32-year-old died Thursday as a strike team faced down flames near Fillmore.
An accident review team is investigating the incident.
Iverson had worked for Cal Fire since 2009. He leaves behind a 2-year-old daughter, and a pregnant wife.
That procession began at 10 a.m. on the 101 Freeway in Ventura County. It then headed into LA County, continuing into San Bernardino County, and then made a short stop in Chino. Around 12:30 p.m., the procession moved into Riverside County and then into San Diego County.
The procession arrived at a funeral home in San Diego after 2 p.m.
CBS2’s Tina Patel said firefighters and first responders lined the procession route and many of them never met the man — but they all felt the pain of his passing.
“It’s just tough to talk about because number one, he was really young. And he’s got a wife and a 2-year-old and she’s pregnant with his second,” said Bruce Cartelli, retired San Diego Fire Chief.
Many are calling Iverson a hero.
:With Cory, they said, he got his guys out first. And he didn’t get out. So [he was] the captain of the ship,” said Cartelli.
Many of the firefighters came to show the family support at this difficult time.
“Hopefully, the family will see us and know that they’re not alone and have a lot of prayers and support coming their way,” said mourner Bob Goodwin.
Many of the mourners said they were also there to show support for the crews still battling the fire.
“These guys have to push forward knowing that one of their brothers has fallen. They have to continue to do their job and serve our community and public well,” said Sarah Ramos-Evinger.