Arizona Fallen Firefighters

Retired – Tucson Fire Department


Fire Fighter – Arthur Apodaca
T.F.D. 6-20-66 – 7-31-91
Born 8-4-40 Deceased 2-7-08
Art was very involved with Local 479 and spent many hours Phoenix educating State Legislators about the Fire Service and Fire Fighters. He also served as President of the Southern Arizona Central Labor Council. In retirement, Art volunteered with the Last Alarm Foundation.

Chief – James E. Armstrong
T.F.D.12-1-59 – 10-30-92
Born 10-18-30 Deceased 11-17-09

Chief – Oscar O. Baca
T.F.D. 10-59 – 8-89
Born 6-20-31 Deceased 4-26-08
Oscar volunteered to assist with the restoration of the Last Alarm Engine until his health prevented his involvement. Oscar’s wife of 52 years, Alicia, continues to volunteer with the Last Alarm Foundation with Fund Raising.

Captain – Arthur R. Brady
T.F.D. 7-23-73 – 11-29-05
Born 7-15-50 Deceased 11-17-08

Chief – Angel J. Carranza
T.F.D. 2-16-52 – 8-31-76
Born 5-27-30 Deceased 7-28-10
Angel joined the Marine Reserve and served an extended tour of duty in Korea during that war. As Captain on Engine 1 Angel and his crew were the first in on the Pioneer Hotel Fire and were immediately met with the horrible sight of a person that jumped from an upper floor and landed on the sidewalk a few feet from where he was exiting the Engine.

Chief – Louis A. Carrillo
T.F.D. 1951 -1982
Born 11-28-26 Deceased 5-23-06

Paul E. Cook
T.F.D. 4-1-63 – 6-15-89
Born 1-24-42 Deceased 5-23-08

Leif F. Erickson
T.F.D. 4-1-63 – 2-24-89
Born 4-18-32 Deceased 11-28-08

Captain – Donald W. Etter
T.F.D. 1947 – 1974
Born 11-28-26 Deceased 10-31-09
Don served in the U.S. Army from 1945 to 1947, receiving the WW II Victory Medal.

Chief – Dionicio F. Elias “Nicho”
T.F.D. 8-48 – 4-78
Born 12-9-22 Deceased 7-29-10
Nicho served in the Army during WW2. He was awarded two Bronze Stars, a Bronze Arrowhead, the WW2 Victory Medal and Medals for the Liberation of the Philippines.

Captain – Ellis L. Franklin
T.F.D. 1949 – 12-31-75
Born 1-17-18 Deceased 5-31-05
Ellis served in the Marines from 1938 to 1946 earning 5 Battle Stars in the South Pacific during 1945 – 1946.

Chief – Matthew F. Garry
T.F.D. 1-16-53 – 9-30-70
Born 11-19-27 Deceased 10-22-05
Mat served in the Navy before joining the Fire Department

Walter A. Gritis
T.F.D. 2-16-52 – 1-1-73
Born 3-5-22 Deceased 11-15-05

Captain – Edgar F. Hagen
T.F.D. Ret.
Born 5-31-17 Deceased 8-7-08

Engineer – Robert A. LeBaron “Bob”
T.F.D. 4-4-60 – 3-4-86
Born 5-3-33 Deceased 4-12-10
Bob served in the Air Force that brought Him to Tucson. In addition to his T.F.D. service, Bob joined the Naval Reserves and served 22 years until his retirement from the Armed Forces.

Captain – Rudolph Leon
T.F.D. 1959 – 1-31-89
Born 12-29-28 Deceased 6-12-07
Rudy, while on the Fire Department, went to work for the U.S. Marshals Office and continued with the Marshals to complete another 20 year career in Law Enforcement.

Captain – Aurelio S. Lopez
T.F.D. 9-1-54 – 12-31-76
Born 11-12-25 Passed 11-16-11
Al enlisted in the U.S.N. in 1942 and served as a Torpedo Bomber crew Member in the South Pacific Theater until 1945. Al developed a life long interest in Military History and spent countless hours studying and discussing the history with his fellow members of the Fire Service.

Fire Fighter – Rudolfo Lopez “Rudy”
T.F.D. 30 years
Born 5-21-40 Deceased 2-22-11
Following his Graduation from High School in 1961 Rudy joined the Air Force and was discharged after four years. He than joined the Tucson Fire Department to serve the citizens of his home town.

Captain – Gus G. Mazon, Jr.
T.F.D. 1946 – 12-31-75
Born 9-9-22 Deceased 3-2-07
Gus served in the Marine Corps from 1942 to 1945in the South Pacific. Gus became a second generation member of the Tucson Fire Dept. in 1946.

Robert N. Matternach
T.F.D. 4-4-60 – 3-31-82
Born 3-29-27 Deceased 1-23-06

Chief – Bernard J. Oliver “BJ”
T.F.D. 1946 – 1-1-74
Born 3-10-20 Deceased 11-28—09
Chief BJ also retired from the Air Force as a Lt. Col. having been a Fighter Pilot in WW II in the Pacific Theater and received a Silver Star.

Captain – Timothy A. Parker “Tim”
T.F.D. 10-12-70 – 11-30-99
Born 5-26-46 Deceased 3-12-10
Tim was in the Air Force 1964 to 1968and was an MP. He also server a tour in Viet Nam on a B52 crew. On retirement He went to work for AZ OSHA until his health forced his retirement.

Chief – Leonel F. Peterson
T.F.D. 6-20-40 – 8-1-76
Born 5-20-19 Deceased 1-18-07
After joining the Fire Department in 1940, he joined the Navy and became a flight instructor. He served until 1945.In 1966; Pete was promoted to Chief of the Department and remained in that position until his retirement.

Engineer – Charles D. Phillips
T.F.D. 10-5-59 – 4-1-80
Born 6-30-38 Deceased 1-6-07
Charles served in the Navy prior to joining the Tucson Fire Department

Captain – John H. Putney
T.F.D. 2-23-57 – 3-31-82
Born 17-22-24 Deceased 5-12-05
John served in the Navy from 1942 to 1945

Engineer – Harold G. Rankin
T.F.D. 1954 – 1-31-84
Born 11-18-23 Deceased 6-2-08
Harold’s wife, Monica, of 62 years continues to volunteer with the Last Alarm Foundation with Fund Raising.

Asst. Chief – Fred Russell Sprung
T.F.D. 5-26-50 – 3-4-75
Born 8-9-27 – 9-7-11
Fred was an accomplished hunter, cowboy, Navy trained pilot, flight instructor, businessman, teacher, in addition to his Fire Service career.

Chief – James R. Russell “JR”
T.F.D. 4-4-60 – 7-30-90
Born 7-30-34 Deceased 3-8-10
Chief Russell was a Founding Member of the Last Alarm Foundation ant Restoration Director; JR will be the first Fire Fighter to respond to his Last Alarm Engine upon its completion.

Engineer – Robert Satturley “Satch”
T.F.D. Over 20 years
Born 11-25-18 Deceased 12-6-06
Bob served in the Navy from 1936 to 1939. After joining T.F.D. he was very active in the IAFF, Local 479 and served as President. He was a Founder of the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona and also served as President of this organization.

Inspector – Robert L Sears
T.F.D. 5-1-62 – 5-30-82
Born 10-5-27 Deceased 3-18-08

Inspector – David E. Spaulding “Davy”
T.F.D. 10-26-59 – 7-26-91
Born 9-12-36 Deceased 4-1-11
Davy joined the Air Force after which he joined the Tucson Fire Department, serving in a number of positions and retired from Fire Prevention. Davy was very dedicated to teaching younger fire fighters all that he learned during his career. Davy was a very accomplished artist and has paintings hanging in a number of Stations and the walls of a number of buildings in town, including Station 2, the local 479 Meeting Hall. Dave was a Founding and Board Member of the Last Alarm Foundation.

Basil E. Wells
T.F.D. 1959 – 1980
Born 5-21-36 Deceased 10-23-05
Basil served in the Navy prior to his career with the Tucson Fire Department.

Fire Fighter – Harry Yablonski
T.F.D. 6-20-66 – 7-31-95
Born 7-29-44 Deceased 1-22-10

Three Points Fire District

Captain – Dennis Robinson
Three Points Fire Captain Dennis Robinson died Tuesday night (March 30th, 2010) in an area hospital. The Captain was working his normal shift Tuesday when he said he didn’t feel well-he was transported to the hospital where he eventually passed away. Sadly, Captain Robinson was just about to retire. Family assistance was provided by AZLAST (AFCA LODD Response Team), the 100 Club, and PFFA.

Picture Rocks Fire District

Karl Peipelman – Firefighter/Paramedic
Picture Rocks Fire Depart.
Term of service, 6-16-06 – 5-10-10

Corona de Tucson Fire District

Douglas Wayne Roth – Assistant Chief
Term of service, 9-1-87 – 9-26-10

City of Nogales Fire Department

Randolph R. Ashford
City of Nogales Fire Dept., Ret.
Born 2-2-1945 Passed 1-12-2012

Get in Touch

Call: (520) 305-1263
Last Alarm Foundation

P.O. Box 18408
Tucson, AZ 85731