Los Angeles firefighter dies from complications of COVID-19

A Los Angeles firefighter died Saturday from complications of COVID-19, the first in the department to die from the disease, fire officials said.

Firefighter-paramedic Jose J. Perez was 44 and had been with the LAFD for more than 16 years, officials said.
Perez is survived by his wife and three children.

“Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas and the entire department send their deepest and most sincere condolences to the Perez family,” a department statement said.

From March through Friday, 145 LAFD employees had tested positive for COVID-19, with 108 recovered and back at work and 36 recovering at home.

On Friday, a Los Angeles police officer died of the illness caused by the coronavirus, the first sworn officer in the city to succumb during the deadly pandemic, the department reported.


Officer Valentin Martinez, 45, worked patrol and was presumed to have contracted the virus while on duty, said LAPD Chief Michel Moore. Martinez had been on the force for 13 years.

Compounding the grief of Martinez’s family and his co-workers is that Martinez’s domestic partner is 20 weeks pregnant with twin boys, Moore said.

Times staff writer James Queally contributed to this report.