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Friday, June 3, 2011

Anthony Valerio, S.F. Firefighter Burned in Blaze, Struggles to Survive

Posted By on Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Tony Valerio
  • Tony Valerio

Family members and friends of Anthony Valerio are standing by his hospital bedside, praying that the 53-year-old firefighter who was badly burned in a home blaze yesterday morning will pull through.

Fire officials told SF Weekly that Valerio remains in critical condition and they are not optimistic about his survival. "I'm afraid we're preparing for another loss," one told us.

The department is already struggling with one death. Yesterday, Lieutenant Vincent Perez, 48, died after he and Valerio were badly burned while fighting the home fire on 133 Berkeley Way. Both firefighters had been blindsided by a flashover, where everything in the room ignited at once.

Valerio and 30 other firefighters responded to the fire yesterday at about 10:45 a.m. A woman and children escaped from the four-story home while firefighters worked to extinguish the flames. But at some point, firefighters outside the house lost radio contact with Perez and Valerio. When they went inside, they found them both unconscious.

A female firefighter was also hurt.

"This has been a very difficult day for the members of the San Francisco Fire Department," Chief Joanne Hayes-White said in a statement.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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