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Thomas Fire Remembrance held at Ventura City Hall

The city of Ventura hosted a Thomas Fire remembrance ceremony on the eve of its December fourth anniversary.

Organizers gave away electric candles adorned with the words: “Ventura Strong.”

People who lost almost everything held them high during a moment of silence in memory of two people who died in Ventura County.

Fire Chief David Endaya said attorney Virginia Pesola died fleeing the flames in Santa Paula the first night of the fire.

Cal Fire engineer Cory Iverson of San Diego died fighting the fire ten days later Fillmore.

Endaya said Iverson told his fellow firefighters his wife was expecting their second child, another daughter, and that he liked the name Taylor. Firefighters passed the suggestion along to his wife and she named the newborn Taylor.

“Cory sacrificed for this community, regardless of where he was from, regardless of the patch on his sleeve. Virginia lost her life evacuating the fire and as we see now communities all over the state are just beginning this same journey that we have been on for a year now,” said Endaya.

This remembrance event means a lot to the Duffey family. They lost their Hillcrest Lane home.

Spencer Duffey said, “It’s been a long year for sure, but there has been so much community support, it’s just another piece helping us back on our feet”

Tracy Duffey said they hadn’t started rebuilding, but they have pulled permits.

Their children Fletcher and Kate are looking forward to having a better home than the one that burned down.

Jeff Lambert, Ventura’s community development director said,” ” We lost 524 homes.” About 500 more burned in other communities.

Lambert said half are under construction.

“We actually have as many as six families who might move into their homes at Christmas this year”

A similar remembrance will be held by at the Poinsettia Pavilion in Ventura on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

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