Thomas fire tragedy strikes home

Even as seven of our local firefighters were returning home safely from what has become the fourth-largest wildfire in California history, word of the tragic death of CalFire firefighter/engineer Cory Iverson on Dec. 14 was making its way into the national news.

This past Saturday, nearly 2,000 firefighters attended the memorial service, which was live-streamed from The Rock Church at Liberty Station and covered by news outlets from around the world.

As a firefighter, Cory Iverson was a member of a family made up of firefighter’s everywhere. But he also tragically leaves behind a family with ties to our local community.

His wife, Ashley, spent countless days peddling her bike around the neighborhood of Upas and 13th streets with her cousins Hallie and Seabre while growing up, often visiting her grandma Marge during her family’s frequent visits to Florence.

The community information sign illuminated outside of SVFR’s main station is a reminder of the ties that bind, not only within the firefighting family, but also to those family members within our Florence community sharing the pain of Ashley’s loss.

In his tribute to Cory during Saturday’s service, CalFire-San Diego Chief Tony Mecham said, “Let there be no doubt Cory died a hero. He lost his life for one very simple reason: He put others first.”

As you head into the New Year, please take a moment or two during the coming days to put his family first in your thoughts, prayers and, if you can, with a donation to the “Help Ashley Iverson” gofundme account set up on his family’s behalf (

Our hearts go out to Ashley, her 2-year-old daughter Evie, and a daughter on the way who will never have the chance to meet her extraordinary father.


Write Siuslaw News editor Ned Hickson at [email protected] or P.O. Box 10, Florence, Ore. 97439.

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