These heroes never gave up. And because they never gave up, another Porterville hero will be put to rest with the full honors he deserves.
Patrick Jones was found in what was left of the Porterville Public Library overnight on Wednesday. Jones was one of two firefighters who died fighting the blaze that virtually destroyed the library on Tuesday.
Jones, 25, had been with the Porterville Fire Department since 2017. The other firefighter who died was Captain Raymond Figueroa, 35, who had been with the Porterville Fire Department since 2007.
As a procession of firefighters and police officers that took Figueroa form Porterville to Tulare to the Tulare County Coroner's office was held on Tuesday, the same procession was held on Thursday for Jones.
Firefighters and Search and Rescue crews worked through the night on Wednesday to find Jones. They located the area where he was last seen.
Two backhoes were used to clear an enormous amount of heavy debris and a crane was also used to remove heavy debris. At least two dogs were used in the effort including one from a Los Angeles County Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue Unit.
Those who went into the area where Jones was couldn't find him. But a dog kept going in indication Jones was there.
And they eventually found him.
Two 13-year-old juveniles have been booked on charges of conspiracy, arson and manslaughter. Due to California state law they can't be tried as adults.
On Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered flags at the State Capitol to be flown at half-staff.
“On behalf of all Californians, Jennifer and I extend our sincere condolences to the Porterville Fire Department and the Porterville community for the tragic loss of two of their finest firefighters, Captain Raymond Figueroa and Firefighter Patrick Jones. To their family, friends and colleagues, we stand with you during this difficult time, and honor Captain Figueroa and Firefighter Jones for their bravery, service and sacrifice,” Newsom said.
While there will certainly be plenty of fundraising efforts that will eventually happen, for now to make sure donations are properly used, those who want to donate to the Jones and Figueroa families should go to the Tulare County Deputy Sheriff's Association website tcdsa.net and click on the City of Porterville Fire emblem.