This weekend’s firefighter competition in Hermosa Beach will be without a competitor after the Hermosa Beach Fire Department announced that Carlos Lopez, a Redondo Beach resident and HBFD firefighter and paramedic, passed away on Tuesday evening.
“Our hearts and prayers are with Carlos’s family and friends. We send them our deepest condolences for this devastating loss,” Hermosa Beach Fire Chief David Lantzer wrote in a press release. “All of us at the City of Hermosa Beach Fire Department mourn with them. Carlos was very skilled as a firefighter and paramedic and a solid member of our team. He will be missed.”
Lopez had worked at the HBPD for nine years and previously served as an Auxiliary Firefighter in Inglewood and as a reserve firefighter in Manhattan Beach and was scheduled to participate in this weekend’s Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge as the only Hermosa Beach competitor.
“While we have been looking forward to this exciting event for a number of months, we will be hosting this weekend with heavy hearts,” the Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce said in a press release. “…As you might imagine, we are very saddened by this terrible news and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family for their loss.”
His cause of death has not yet been publicly divulged.
After the announcement of Lopez’s death and consulting the HBFD, the Chamber of Commerce announced that they will be dedicating the weekend’s events in his memory.
Some of Lopez’s fellow firefighters will honor him at the beginning of the competition on Saturday at 1 p.m. by running in an opening event relay in his memory.
Additionally, a “passing of the boot” will take place at the event, with proceeds benefitting Lopez’s family.
A welcome event planned for Friday at 4 p.m. at Hennessey’s Tavern in Hermosa Beach will also go forward as scheduled, with a stool reserved at the bar with Carlos’ gear to honor his memory. The public is welcome to attend.
The dates and times of funeral services have not yet been scheduled. The family asks for privacy in this time of grieving their loss.
The Chamber will be hosting the event in downtown Hermosa Beach in the parking lot on 11th Street and Hermosa Avenue on Saturday and Sunday. Visit http://www.hbchamber.net or www.firefighterchallenge.com for more information.