Lieutenant Vincent Perez, 48, died on June 2, 2011 after responding to a two-alarm fire at a 4-story home in the Diamond Heights neighborhood. Perez and 2 other firefighters were inside the structure fighting, what was described as an aggressive fire, when an emergency alarm beacon attached to one of the firefighters went off. Staff tried to contact the firefighter, but were unable to do so. The communications center then notified the command staff.
Additional crew members were sent in, and they found 2 firefighters down and badly burned. Perez and firefighter Anthony Valerio were pulled out of the burning building, and a female firefighter was assisted out. The firefighters had become trapped in a super-heated stairwell, leaving them unconscious with severe burns. Lieutenant Perez later went into full cardiac arrest after suffering burns and smoke inhalation during the morning blaze. Lieutenant Vincent Perez was a 25-year veteran of the SFFD and a former Marine and Alameda County sheriff’s deputy.