PASADENA - Two veteran Pasadena firefighters were killed Thursday when their private plane plunged into the Sea of Cortez in an off-duty accident.
Kenneth Soltis, 47, of La Verne and John Kiesow, 49, of Agua Dulce were killed in the late-morning crash in shallow water off the east coast of Baja, Mexico, said Pasadena fire Chief Dennis J. Downs.
The chief said the men were on a fishing vacation and were returning to Pasadena when the crash occurred. They were scheduled to report to work at 7 a.m. Friday, Downs said.
Information about the crash was arriving via the Mexican consulate in Los Angeles, said Lisa Derderian, a department spokeswoman, and department officials were piecing together the sketchy details.
Kiesow, a 26-year department veteran, was an avid flier who owned several planes and was piloting the plane that crashed, Derderian said. Kiesow and Soltis are believed to be the plane's only occupants, Downs said.
Kiesow worked at Fire Station 33 on Lake Avenue near Villa Street. Soltis was stationed at Fire Station 39 on Avenue 64. Pasadena firefighters were offered grief counseling Friday, Derderian said.
Soltis, also known as Barney, served 20 years with the department.
He is survived by his wife, Shanna, and three daughters ages 20, 18 and 13.
Kiesow leaves behind a wife, Verlene, and two daughters and a son, all grown. Firefighters who worked with him recalled how he much he loved model planes and how he taught them how to build and fly them.
Downs said firefighters spend one-third of their lives with each other and away from their families.
"So you talk about families, we really are one," he said. "We rely on each other in life-threatening situations."
Funeral services for the pair are pending, Derderian said, and will be announced as soon as the dates are confirmed.
Downs said U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena, offered to get the U.S. State Department involved if there was any difficult arranging for the quick return of the bodies.
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06-19-2007, 07:39 AM #1
2 Pasadena FF perrish in plane crash
06-19-2007, 10:15 AM #2
- Join Date
- May 2002
- Now in Victoria, BC. I'm from beautiful Jasper Alberta in the heart of the Can. Rockies - will always be an Albertan at heart!
My condolences to the Pasadena Fire Department as well as the Soltis and Kiesow families for their sad loss.
Sleep in the arms of the angels, Kenneth (Barney) and John
06-20-2007, 10:25 AM #3
God Bless them and keep their souls.
MikeImagine Having done nothing.
150 years of tradition unhampered by progress!
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