California Firefighter Dies After Fire

A firefighter with Lewiston Volunteer Fire Department located in north central California, died fighting a fire October 26 where he became ill.

Walter L. Sykes Jr., 48, was at a structure fire on the hose with another firefighter at the rear when he indicated he was not feeling well, according to Chief Clint Chandler. He moved to the front of the structure where paramedics assisted him into an ambulance.

Sykes was transported to Mountain Community Medical Services in Weaverville where he later died of a heart attack.

The fire destroyed the two-story home of former department fire Chief Jesse Cox.

According to Fire Chief Clint Chandler, Sykes moved to Lewiston from Roseville about 1 1/2 years ago. Having never been a firefighter before, he took all of the training courses including the rigorous wildland firefighting course to be able to work with the 20 member department.