San Diego Fire Kills Novato Firefighter

NOVATO, Calif. (AP) -- The firefighter killed when a fast-moving wildfire overtook his four-man crew as they tried to save a home was remembered at his home firehouse Thursday as a hard worker dedicated to the job.

``He wasn't sent there. He asked to go,'' Deputy Novato Fire Chief Dan Northern said, fighting back tears as he stood beside a makeshift shrine of flowers, photos and the gear Steve Rucker had left behind.

Rucker, 38, was the first firefighter killed battling the blazes that have ravaged Southern California since the Santa Ana winds began blowing through the parched hills last week. Twenty people have died in wildfires still raging in San Diego, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.

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