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San Diego Firefighter Killed While Battling Thomas Fire To Be Remembered

Cory Iverson (left) poses for a photo during a Cal Fire training in April, 2016.

Credit: Lalo Gamboa/Cal Fire

Above: Cory Iverson (left) poses for a photo during a Cal Fire training in April, 2016.

The 'Cory Iverson Celebration of Life' is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at the Rock Church in Point Loma.

Iverson joined Cal Fire in 2009, and was part of a strike team based out of San Diego County when he was killed in Ventura County fighting the Thomas Fire on Dec. 14.

RELATED: San Diego Firefighter Killed Battling Ventura Blaze

His colleagues said Iverson was a hard worker who was committed to service.

“He was a very good leader, I saw a lot of potential," said Cal Fire Captain Lalo Gamboa. "He would have been one of those captains who would have been great for the department.”

Gamboa said he was always able to count on Iverson.

"Cory was one of those guys, that having worked with him in Battalion 3, he was always stepping up," Gamboa said. "He had initiative.”

Photo credit: Henry Vanzzini

Cory Iverson (left) with Henry Vanzzini (right) of the Viejas Fire Department in 2016.

Gamboa met Iverson two years ago and the pair went through a special Cal Fire training together last April.

"He was very eager to learn," Gamboa said. "The captains would tell him 'I need you to go here, or I need you to go there.' And he’d be like, 'okay captain I’ll go there.'''

After their training together, Gamboa and Iverson worked at neighboring Cal Fire stations in San Diego County where they would go on fire calls together.

"He cracked the whip," Gamboa said.

Gamboa said he and other firefighters knew Iverson to be a leader.

“Cory’s name came up with the firefighters," Gamboa said. "(L)ike ‘oh he’s the guy, he always makes us work on the fire line.' He took his job seriously and he made sure work that needed to be done got done.”

A medical examination revealed Iverson died from thermal burns and smoke inhalation. He leaves behind a pregnant wife and a two year old daughter in Escondido.

Saturday funeral services will be held for Cal Fire Engineer Cory Iverson who died last week while fighting the Thomas Fire in Ventura County.

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