LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Amid the devastation left behind by the Saddle Ridge fire, Los Angeles Park Rangers are mourning the loss of one of their own, Captain Alberto Torres.

Torres collapsed Friday afternoon at Park Ranger headquarters after patrolling San Fernando Valley city parks impacted by the Saddle Ridge fire. He died the next morning of a massive heart attack.

LA City Attorney Mike Feuer paid tribute to the veteran Park Ranger, praising his decades of service to the citizen of Los Angeles: “He has left an everlasting impact on many. He has provided safety to the public, sharing his vast knowledge on plants and wildlife and his constant willingness to offer mentorship and counseling.”

Torres had worked virtually every position at the park rangers department in his 40 years of service and helped create the city wide unit that focuses on the homeless outreach and cleanup.

LA City Councilwoman Nury Martinez called Torres “the epitome of what it means to be a public servant” and said he “went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure our parks and open spaces are safe and accessible to the people of Los Angeles. Even last night he was working on the fires, doing what he loved and keeping us all safe. We miss him already. My heart goes out to his family, loved ones, and fellow park rangers.”

Park Ranger Chief Joe Losorelli  says he can’t say for certain, but doesn’t believe Torres had a history of heart issues and if he did, the fire most likely didn’t help.

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