News Details

2 firefighters killed during massive blaze at library started by teens

19 Feb 2020

By:Staff Writer

Authorities Wednesday morning confirmed that two 13-year-olds were booked on manslaughter charges connected to the fire. The firefighters were identified as Raymond Figueroa, 35, and Patrick Jones, 25.
The teens face manslaughter, arson and conspiracy charges.

FF Patrick Jones has been found.

The remains of Porterville City Fire FF Patrick Jones has been located within the Porterville City Library building. Crews have been working tirelessly to locate Patrick, who went missing during the early stages of the incident. Additional information regarding a procession to the Tulare County Corners Office will be made available as details become available.

Fire Captain Ramon “Ray” Figueroa

Captain Ray Figueroa began his firefighting career with Lindsay City Fire Department. In 2007 Ray was hired with Porterville City Fire Department as a firefighter, making an impact to the department with his passion and determination. In 2016 Ray was promoted to the rank of Engineer after many years of hard work and training. As an Engineer, Ray continued to train and work hard to become an exceptional Engineer. In 2018 Ray was promoted to Captain and was assigned to Station 71. Ray was known for his love of the job and mentoring his crew.

Over the last 3 years Ray was part of the Fire Investigation Unit, and as with every assignment Ray approached investigations with passion. Captain Figueroa was known for his saying “KSA” - Knowledge, Skill, Ability. Training was a large part of Ray’s day to day job and joined the Porterville Fire training cadre, sharing his skills, knowledge and love of the job. When he came to work his priorities showed, as he was also known for saying “My Men, The Mission, Then Me”. Ray not only served the citizens and community in and around Porterville, he often responded to large wildland fires across California through his career.


Two Porterville firefighters died Tuesday night as crews struggled to put out a massive fire at the Porterville library, according Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux.

“Prayers for the Porterville City Fire Department,” Boudreaux posted on Facebook. “They have lost two brave men in a library fire this evening. The city of Porterville mourns their loss and we as a community grieve with them and their families. God bless them all.”

Porterville and Tulare County firefighters have been trying to knock down the flames, which has engulfed the two-story library since around 4:15 p.m. Tuesday.

It happened near Hockett Street and Thurman Avenue — less than a block from where the Porterville Fire Department is located — and while the library was open to the public.


The identities of the firefighters killed were not immediately known.

Other fire crews, including from the Fresno County Fire Department, later arrived to provide assistance in the fire.

Smoke could be seen miles away coming out of the library, which was built in 1953 and for years has been a popular place for youths to visit.

Captain Joanne Bear confirmed there were no sprinklers inside the library.

Neither the cause of the fire nor how the firefighters died were immediately known, and the fire remains under investigation.

Just last month, Porterville’s City Council held a special joint meeting to discuss the possibility of opening a new library facility or renovating the current building.