Family and friends remember Fire Capt. Raymond Figueroa killed in Porterville library fire

PORTERVILLE, Calif. (KFSN) -- As crews dig through charred debris, a community is mourning the loss of a hero.

"It doesn't feel real," says Saidee Espinoza, Porterville Fire Capt. Raymond Figueroa's sister. "It doesn't."

Just yards from where his brother took his final breath, Zach Figueroa and his fiance, Saidee, paid tribute to the fallen fire captain.

"He was not just my hero, he was everybody else's hero," Zach said. "To the city of Porterville, to the city of Delano, my family, his friends. "He was everyone's hero."

"He's an amazing man," Espinoza said. "Such an amazing man and an amazing big brother."

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Residents remember fallen firefighter from Portervile library fire

Captain Figueroa's former classmates from Delano High School drove from Southern California.

They didn't want to speak on camera, but say the father of two was a staple of the community and will be geatly missed.

While a memorial continued to grow outside of the firehouse adjacent to the library, urban search and rescue teams spent the day extinguishing hot spots and working to gain access to the building's interior.

"The biggest objective is to move slowly and methodically as they continue to ensure the safety of everyone operating in and around the building," says Tulare County Fire Capt. Joanne Bear.

Search teams used drones aid, crane operators, in recovery efforts. Each piece of heavy debris was removed, getting them one step closer to finding firefighter Patrick Jones.

"Obviously, the firefighters are processing everything that's happened along with the city, the community," Bear said.

A link has been provided if you wish to donate to the Porterville Fire Department.
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