SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— A memorial service was held Saturday in San Francisco’s Diamond Heights neighborhood to mark the First anniversary of a blaze that claimed two firefighters lives.

The ceremony was held at Station 26 which is where Fire Lieutenant Vincent Perez and firefighter-paramedic Anthony Valerio worked.

SF Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said it’s hard to believe a year has passed since their deaths in the line of duty.

“It’s mixed emotions definitely. It’s tough coming back to 26, knowing that Vince and Tony responded to their last alarm a year ago today just a few blocks from here on Berkeley Way. It’s very heartwarming to see the outpouring from the community,” she said.

Hundreds of people attended the ceremony that included the dedication of a plaque and memorial garden.

Both firefighters’ families were there including Perez’s brother Lucio Perez who’s a sergeant on the San Francisco police force.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

“My brother was a leader. He wanted to be the first [firefighter] in the building. He sent one of the members of his team home because he had a training mask issue. He actually saved the life of another firefighter before he went to that call,” Perez said with pride.

A moment of silence was held at 10:58 a.m., the same moment a year ago that the men were found in the home after falling victim to a flashover.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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