TUALATIN, Ore. — Mourners paid their last respects to 24-year-old John Percin Jr., the Oregon native who was among 19 elite firefighters killed while battling an Arizona wildfire last month.
Hundreds of firefighters from across Oregon attended Saturday’s public memorial at Rolling Hills Community Church in Tualatin. Friends and relatives attended a private memorial on Friday in Lake Oswego.
Percin died June 30 when a wind-driven blaze overran the crew as it tried to protect a small Arizona town. The 19 deaths represented the nation’s biggest loss of wilderness firefighters in 80 years.
Percin was raised in Oregon and graduated from West Linn High School. He moved to Arizona in 2010.
Chaplain Chuck Boman said Percin’s desire to help extended beyond firefighting. If anyone needed something, he said, John was always the first one there.