LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — An autopsy on the firefighter killed in the massive Thomas Fire — which has burned over 400 square miles — revealed his cause of death to be thermal injuries and smoke inhalation, the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office said Saturday.
FOX40 sister station KTLA reports Cory Iverson, 32, was a Cal Fire engineer at the agency’s San Diego unit and was working with his strike team when he died. He was a father and husband whose pregnant wife is expecting their second child, another daughter.
A procession was held for Iverson as his body was recovered in Fillmore Thursday and Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott asked for the public’s condolences for Iverson’s grieving family, according to KTLA.
“Please continue to keep Cory, his family, and his coworkers in your thoughts and prayers as they deal with this tragic and untimely loss,” he said.
A GoFundMe page set for the family of the fallen firefighter describes him as “a true hero to our Southern California community.”
It has raised just over $285,000 of a $500,000 goal, with funds expected to help his wife, Ashley, as she pays for “funeral arrangements, for their girls, for help with the home and the yard, whatever she needs as she grieves and adjusts,” the page states.
Working for Cal Fire since 2009, Iverson had a passion for the fire service “at an early age,” Spokesman Jon Heggie told the Los Angeles Times. Heggie described him as “the kind of firefighter you could rely on.”
“He was the best fireman you could hope to have on your team,” he said.
An accident review team is investigating the circumstances surrounding Iverson’s death, officials previously said.
A 70-year-old Santa Paula woman was also killed in the massive Thomas Fire as she was trying to evacuate.