Families of Porterville firefighters killed feel it could have been prevented

PORTERVILLE, Calif. (KFSN) -- February 18th, 2020 is a day the Jones and Figueroa family and the Porterville community, will never forget.

The families of Porterville Fire Captain Raymond Figueroa and firefighter Patrick Jones still remember getting the news that their sons were missing in the flames.

They died in the line of duty during a tragic Porterville Library Fire.

RELATED: Fallen Porterville firefighters honored one year after tragedy

Both were searching for others inside the building.

They gave a May Day call and were never heard from again.

Figueroa was found by the rapid intervention team but died after being rushed to the hospital.

Jones was found about 36 hours after.

A year later, an independent report was released on the deadly fire but the families were suspicious about the equipment used that day - which was not in the report.

"The times in the report didn't match the times that they were supposed to be given on the breathing tanks," Figueroa's family said.

"Even the firefighters that went in to look for them had to get out because they were short on air," Jones' family said.

Attorney Brown Green took on the case and dove deeper.

"The all-important device failed in 12 minutes instead of 40 and there was no alarm to tell others," he said.

RELATED: 136-page report into Porterville Library fire released

Wednesday, a lawsuit was filed.

"The companies who distribute, test, design and make the product, we have them all in line," Green said. "They are about five corporations."

The families are now shedding light on a conversation that could prevent the death of many firefighters for years to come.

"I don't want any more families to deal with this," Jones' family said. "I want the firefighter community to know we are watching out for them."
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