Relatives, colleagues and friends will gather Friday to honor the life of a Los Angeles firefighter who died two days after falling from a ladder during a training exercise.
Kelly Wong, 29, fell from the Los Angeles Fire Department aerial ladder while participating in the June 3 exercise in downtown Los Angeles. He died at a hospital.
A procession will begin at 8 a.m. Friday at Main and First streets, led by an LAFD fire truck bearing the casket, followed by an honor guard and mourners who will walk north on Main Street and go west on Temple Street to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels for the 9 a.m. service, LAFD spokeswoman Margaret Stewart said.
Several streets will be closed in the area to accommodate the procession: Beginning at 6 a.m., Temple Street will be closed between Grand Avenue and Los Angeles Street, along with Hill Street between First and Ord streets and Main Street between First and Aliso streets. Beginning at 7 a.m., First Street will be closed between Main and Spring streets.
Beginning at 6 a.m., Grand Avenue will be closed intermittently at the discretion of traffic-control officers between First Street and the Hollywood (101) Freeway onramp.
Wong, a two-year veteran, was assigned to Fire Station 92 in Rancho Park. He had been scheduled to transfer to Fire Station 9 serving downtown Los Angeles and Skid Row on June 12 and was working at that station at the time of the accident.
Wong graduated from the LAFD Recruit Academy on Terminal Island in August 2015 and was the top academic performer in his class.
“Kelly’s dream since he was a little boy was to be a firefighter,” LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas said earlier. “His mother, Ann, shared that story with me that Kelly liked to play with fire trucks growing up. He applied with several departments but he wanted to work for the best. He wanted to work for the Los Angeles Fire Department. And he accomplished his goal.”
Wong is survived by his wife Danielle; his infant son Colton; his mother Ann; his mother-in-law and father-in-law Barbara and Michael Quinlan; and his sisters-in-law Nicole and Stephanie.
Terrazas said the type of training in which Wong was killed will continue.
“When Kelly was injured, the crew at Fire Station 9 was training, and I always tell our people that the first thing, the most important thing that we do is respond to emergencies,” he said. “The second most important thing we do is train to respond to emergencies. We will continue to train whether it be for a high-rise fire, a brush fire, a medical event, whatever incident type it is, we will continue to train to be ready so we can protect the people of this great city.”
The LAFD, in conjunction with state safety agencies, is conducting an investigation into the circumstances of the death.
–City News Service