Fallen firefighter laid to rest following statewide procession

MEDFORD, Ore. – A Medford wildland firefighter died Monday battling the Middle Fork Complex in Lane County. On Thursday the community came together to give him one last goodbye.

You don’t hear much silence when it comes to roads. But Thursday you could hear a teardrop as it hits the floor. Hearts are broken, as the Rogue Valley community mourns the loss of Frumencio Ruiz Carapia. A Medford wildland firefighter, who made the ultimate sacrifice battling the Middle Fork Complex in Lane County.

“I don’t have the words,” said A. Tovia, a friend, and colleague of Carapia.

When the news broke some people couldn’t believe it.

“A news article regarding a firefighter passing. I look at the face and was like there’s no way,” said Arnold Sicairos, Carapia’s neighbor.

But soon after Carapia passed Monday the community came together. Multiple fire agencies began a silent procession from Lane County to Medford.

“All of us that are firefighters understand the dangers of this job,” said Tovia, “Besides the fact that he was my worker, he was also my friend, one of many that I have here on my team, and that’s why it hurts so much”.

After the procession, the family gathered to lay their loved one to rest. Family and friends came together to pray, sing, and commemorate Carapia’s memories.

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NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]
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