Esperanza Fire Remembered Five Years Later

Family, friends and colleagues will gather today to remember the five firefighters killed by the Esperanza Fire five years ago, reports KESQ-TV.

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Capt. Mark Loutzenhiser, Fire Engine Operator Jess "Gus" McLean, Assistant Fire Engine Operator Jason McKay and Firefighter Daniel Hoover/Najera, perished in the blaze defending a partially built home in the early morning hours of Oct. 26, 2006 in Cabazon, Calif.

Firefighter Pablo Cerda succumbed to his injuries five days later at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.

They were overwhelmed by the fire when the winds shifted and blew the fire towards them.

Santa Ana winds carried smoke as far away as San Diego, and a CALFire report states that the winds ultimately led to the deaths of the firefighters.

Raymond Lee Oyler was sentenced to death by a jury in June 2009 after being convicted of setting the fire.

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