SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Friends, family and fellow firefighters mourned fallen Cal Fire San Diego engineer Cory Iverson at a Celebration of Life event Saturday.
About 1,800 people, which were largely first responders turned out for the private event at The Rock Church in Point Loma in the monring to commemorate the fallen firefighter.
Livestream of Celebration of Life for Cory Iverson:
(This stream is also available on 10News's Facebook page here.)
Iverson, 32, was killed last week while battling the Thomas Fire in Santa Barbara County, where he was on the front lines in a particularly active part of the blaze in the Fillmore area. He died of thermal injuries and smoke inhalation.
In addition to loved ones and fellow firefighters, California Gov. Jerry Brown attended the Celebration of Life.
Iverson worked as a Cal Fire San Diego unit apparatus engineer, after joining in 2009. He's been described by his peers as a man who will be missed dearly.
"He’s a great young man, somebody who really loved his job," Cal Fire Chief Tony Mecham said following Iverson's death. Mecham added that Iverson's death had "shaken our organization to the core."
Cal Fire Local 2881 President Mike Lopez issued a statement, praising Iverson as a hero and loving family man.
"As colleagues and as human beings we grieve for this young man with such a bright future and the young family that will now go forward without a loving husband and father. We pray that they will always understand that Cory was a hero and, because of him, our communities are safe and people are able to sleep knowing that the dangerous calls get answered by someone," Lopez said.
Tommy Rupert, a high school friend of Iverson's, told 10News the firefighter was someone you couldn't forget.
"Hopefully [his family] can look back and know who their dad was because he was a hero. He really was," Rupert said.
Iverson is survived by his wife, Ashley, and two-year-old daughter. His wife is currently expecting a second daughter this spring.
A GoFundMe account set up to help the Iverson family has raised more than half a million dollars in just over a week. Firefighters from around the county also held a boot drive this week to collect funds for Iverson's family, raising about $185,000.