SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The chief of San Francisco’s fire department said a second firefighter who suffered serious burns in a house fire last week has died.

>>Photo Gallery: Fallen San Francisco Firefighter

San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White confirmed his death at a news conference Saturday morning at San Francisco General Hospital where she was surrounded by Valerio’s family members including his mother, father and six siblings.

Valerio grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from El Camino High  School, City College of San Francisco, and San Francisco State University.

He spent 13 years with the city’s Department of Public Health and  14 years with the fire department.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

Mayor Ed Lee and Police Chief Greg Suhr were on hand at the somber, rainy gathering where over 100 firefighters in uniform were in attendance.

Valerio survived for about 40 hours after being severely burned while responding to a house fire in Diamond Heights on Thursday.

Valerio and fellow firefighter Lt. Vincent Perez were battling the blaze Thursday at the four-story home at 133 Berkeley Way when they were overcome by a “flashover.”

A “flashover” is a surge of searing flame when everything in a room ignites at once.

The pair were rushed to San Francisco General Hospital in critical condition. Perez died Thursday after going into cardiac arrests.

Valerio and Perez were the first San Francisco firefighters killed in the line of duty in nearly a decade.

KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:

San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee said in a statement he was “deeply saddened” by the deaths and called the loss a “terrible tragedy” for the city.

“These two men have dedicated their lives to protecting the people ofSan Franciscofor decades,” Lee said.

He added that the deaths of Valerio and Perez were a reminder of the sacrifices firefighters and their family and friends make.

“We are forever appreciative for the brave men and women of the San Francisco Fire Department who put their lives on the line every day for us,” he said.

Valerio’s body was taken to the medical examiner’s office as funeral arrangements are being made.

On Thursday, Lee ordered that all flags at city-owned sites be flown at half-staff in honor of the firefighters, while Gov. Jerry Brown ordered the same for flags at the state Capitol in Sacramento.

San Jose firefighters also lowered their flags to show solidarity with the San Francisco Fire Department, San Jose fire Capt. Scott Kouns said.

The San Francisco firefighters union has established trust accounts for the Perez and Valerio families at the San Francisco Fire Credit Union. Donations can be sent to the credit union at 3201 California St., San Francisco, 94118.

Funeral services for the men are pending.

Condolence messages can be sent to Fire Station 26, 80 Digby St., San Francisco, 94131.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

Comments (24)
  1. Rhonda Leabo says:

    How very sad. God bless. Sometimes I forget what heros policemen and fireman are.

  2. tami grogan kroening says:

    God Bless Firefighters Perez and Valerio… You are heros. Thoughts and prayers with your families, extended families and friends. Such a very sad, sad day.

  3. el says:

    Deepest condolences on the loss of these two fine men while doing their dangerous jobs. My heart aches for their families, co-workers, friends. May the survivors find the strength to continue.

  4. Hoang Ta says:

    God bless the heroic Firefighters Perez and Valerio. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the risk policemen and firefighters put their lives through everyday. Deepest condolences and may they both rest in peace.

  5. Mike Guerra says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and fellow firefighters. From Engine 39 in Fairfield

  6. sally says:

    my deepest condolences and prayers go out to both families and their colleagues of the 2 firefighters that lost their lives battling the fire. they are all our heroes and god bless them and their families

  7. kc says:

    As the daughter of a retired firefighter and the sister of an active one; stories like these always hit home. I am so very sorry that these two men had to die in a truly horrible way. Your families have my deepest sympathy.

  8. Wot Zoo says:

    What a tragic loss, that is so sad.

  9. Bob says:

    What total disrespect that cameraman had towards the family. In the video you see the police officer attempt to stop him. The officer was ‘ABSOLUTELY” professional by giving a tug ( as to say ) ” Hey Jerk!” this is the time for the family not you. Oh and the cameraman even broke up the handshake of the elderly gentleman. NO CLASS!

  10. melody says:

    Dear Family members & firefighters,

    The Top Notch/Black Coalition Social Club would like to express our sincere sympathy of the loss of your love one. May God keep you and bless you.


    The Top Notch/Black Coalition Social Club

  11. michael says:

    Dear Family & Fellow Fire Fighters,

    It is never easy when you lose someone you love but hopefully with the help of God and time the wonderful memories will keep you and get you throught this loss.

    With our Deepest Sympathy,

    The Make ‘M Shine Family

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