Emotional vigil honors firefighter killed in DTLA ladder accident

CENTURY CITY, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Friends, loved ones and fellow firefighters gathered at LAFD Station 92 to pay tribute to firefighter Kelly Wong, who died after falling from an aerial ladder during a training exercise.

The candlelight vigil in Century City Monday night was an emotional one. Wong's wife and infant son, Colton, were among the mourners.

"Kelly was passionate about this job, more passionate than anything about Dani and Colton, loved his mother, and for me, that's how I remember Kelly, and how I would like everyone to remember him," said Cody Crippen, an LAFD firefighter.

Through tears and laughter, Wong's loved ones remembered a man dedicated to his job, fulfilling his childhood dream of being a firefighter.

Just a two-year veteran with the LAFD, Wong had already made a major mark on the department, known for his dedication and passion.

"Kelly put his life on the line day in and day out to serve this community, and in your time of need, he was the hero you wanted to show up on your doorstep," said Steve Stern, an LAFD firefighter.

Firefighters tolled the bell 10 times to mark Wong's service. The 29-year-old died two days after falling from an aerial ladder while training June 3 in downtown Los Angeles.

"This is a tragedy that we will never forget and nor should we. We owe it to Kelly to be the best," said LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas.

Wong was described as a devoted husband and a doting dad who was known for his welcoming smile. Co-workers said all Wong wanted - was to be the best he could be.

"His standard and his quality of just being a human being was way up here. He was a superstar," said Dave Gastelum, an LAFD firefighter.

The June accident remains under investigation. The LAFD said it owes it to Wong to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.
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