Procession held for beloved firefighter killed in Thomas Fire

VENTURA, Calif. (KABC) -- It was an emotional sight on Southern California roads Sunday, as hundreds turned out to honor firefighter Cory Iverson, who was killed battling the Thomas Fire in Ventura this week.

A hearse was seen carrying the body of Cal Fire San Diego Unit Fire Apparatus Engineer Cory Iverson, who died Thursday from smoke inhalation and burns sustained while fighting the massive and destructive blaze.

Iverson was 32 years old. He is survived by his wife, Ashley -- who is expecting a girl -- and their 2-year-old daughter.

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Iverson had been with Cal Fire since 2009.

The funeral procession departed the Ventura County medical examiner's office to a San Diego mortuary.

"Well, I think what was most impressive to me was the show of support from all the citizens around Ventura County that were standing here with the American flag. They were here with their sons and their daughters to support Cory and his family," said Norm Plott, assistant fire chief of the Santa Paula Fire Department.

The funeral procession moved through burn-scarred hillsides, where wildfires still rage.

Iverson is remarkably only the second death attributed to the massive Thomas Fire, which has burned more than 400 square miles and destroyed at least 750 homes. Eighteen-thousand remain threatened.

The colossal blaze, which straddles coastal Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, broke out Dec. 4.

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