The Long Beach Fire Department mourned the loss of one of its own this week when news spread of the unexpected death of Fire Capt. Ryan Thornton on Wednesday, September 30. He was an 18 year veteran of the department.
The 46-year-old began his firefighting career with the department on September 22, 1997, and after 10 years was promoted to fire engineer, serving at Station 17.
In 2010, Thornton was promoted to fire captain, serving Stations 1, 7, 11 and 13.
At the time of his death, he oversaw hazardous materials operations throughout the city while assigned to Fire Station 19 on a special detail to Fire Station 24.
“Ryan is remembered by his friends and co-workers as a genuine person that was always willing to help anyone in need,” the LBFD said in a release. “Ryan typifies what it means to be a firefighter and what they represent.”
The department called the loss of Ryan "profound," stating that his fire family and community will always remember him.
“Our hearts and deepest condolences go out to his family and friends," the release stated.
Fire officials did not release details surrounding the cause of his death.
A memorial service is scheduled for October 14, 2015 with additional details to follow.