Firefighter’s family killed in structure fire

And unrelated, a firefighter died in a vehicle accident while commuting home

Four members of firefighter’s family killed in structure fire

The wife and three children of a wildland firefighter were killed in Washington while he was deployed on a wildfire.

Marcaria Garcia-Martinez, 32, her daughters Luz Garcia-Martinez, 17, and Michelle Garcia-Martinez, 6, and son Luis Garcia-Martinez, 15, died in the early morning  blaze on August 27.  They had just moved and were spending their first night in the single-wide trailer in Benton City, Washington. When sheriff deputies and firefighters arrived the home was almost completely consumed. The radiant heat from the fire was so intense that a nearby trailer also ignited, but deputies were able to rescue the residents of that home. Firefighters put out the fire and found the family members’ bodies while searching the trailer.

Raul Garcia-Santos, Garcia-Martinez’s husband and the children’s father, was assigned to the Palmer Fire in north-central Washington which has burned about 18,000 acres four miles south of the Canadian border. The fire has not been updated on InciWeb since September 30.

Firefighter dies in vehicle accident while commuting home

Sara Madsen. USFS photo.

A firefighter on the Helena Hotshot crew was killed in a vehicle accident in Idaho while commuting home after a fire assignment.

From the U. S. Forest Service, Caribou-Targhee National Forest September 3, 2020:

“Sara Madsen was an incredible person with a vivacious personality and a love for the outdoors. She began working in natural resources in our very own Teton Valley as a Youth Conservation Corp member, later moving into the fire program where she served as a crewmember on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest’s Centennial Type 2 Initial Attack Hand Crew from 2017 to 2019. 2020 was her first year as part of the Helena Hot Shot crew with the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. Our firefighting community is heartbroken over this tragic loss and our condolences go out to Sara’s family, friends and coworkers.”

The Idaho State Police released the following information:

  • “On September 2, 2020, at approximately 12:21 a.m., Idaho State Police investigated a single-vehicle crash on SH32 near milepost 25 south of Ashton, in Fremont County.
  • Sara Madsen, 24, of Tetonia, was driving eastbound on SH32 in a 1999 Ford Ranger when her vehicle went off the right shoulder of the roadway and overturned.
  • Madsen was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. She succumbed to her injuries at the scene. Next of kin has been notified.”

Rest in peace, Sara Madsen, and the family of Raul Garcia-Santos.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

2 thoughts on “Firefighter’s family killed in structure fire”

  1. When this article is shared on Facebook it shows the picture of Sara Madsen alongside the title that says firefighters family killed in structure fire. It seems somewhat misleading and there are some people who are rather upset about this. Could you please add a picture before the one of Sarah Madsen in order to make sure that when this is shared it is not so controversial looking.

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