It is with a heavy heart that I pass along the tragic loss of two of Contra Costa County Fire Protection District's Bravest. Early this morning Captain Matt C. Burton, 34, and Fire Engineer Scott P. Desmond, 37, died while bravely carrying out their mission to save lives.

At 0143, on July 21, 2007 the crew of San Pablo Engine 70 was dispatched to a fire alarm. While en route, based on additional information, the incident was upgraded to a structure response. The on-scene report indicated that two people were inside.

Four engines, including three from Contra Costa County Fire District and one from Richmond Fire Department responded.

Engine 70ís crew, after finding and assisting in one rescue, continued searching for a second victim. During this rescue effort they became trapped. Despite valiant rescue efforts, two firefighters and the occupants perished as a result of the fire.

The names of the residents of the house, a man, 67, and woman, 62, are withheld until next of kin are notified by the Sheriff-Coronorís office.

Additional information regarding this tragedy will be made available at:

Much of the above information has been directly taken from a department press release (12:01 p.m. PDT).