LOS ALAMITOS (CBSLA) — Hundreds of firefighters lined up at Cottonwood Church in Los Alamitos Friday to pay their final respects to one of their own, Jonathan Flagler, who died earlier this month in the line of duty.
Flagler, 47, died on Jan. 6 after he was overcome by smoke and flames while battling a house fire in Rancho Palos Verdes. He was pulled from the burning home by his fellow firefighters from Fire Station 83 and rushed to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he died.
Flagler was a firefighter for 21 years and was most recently assigned to Fire Station 83. He started his career at county Fire Station 13 in Vernon, which was previously known as Vernon Fire Department Station 1 before the county took over that city's fire services in 2020. The station will be renamed the Jonathan Flagler Memorial Training Center.
"Jon was a true hero. And he lost his life in the line of duty upholding his oath to protect the lives and property of the community he served. There is a scripture in the Gospel of John that says 'Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends,'" Chaplain Vince Roldan said. "That's the heart of a firefighter and it is also why we are all hurting so much right now.''
Flagler leaves behind two teenage sons, Brody and Jack, and his wife, Jenny. She was flanked by her sons as she described to the mourners gathered that she has now lost her best friend and soul mate.
"It takes some people decades to find the person they're meant to be with. It takes others several tries to find them and some never do," she said. "I am one of the lucky few that found him on the first try. All it took was one date, and I knew he was the man I was meant to spend the rest of my life with."
The flag that was lowered over Station 83, and later raised over Station 13, was taken down and presented to Flagler's family.
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