Fresno Fire Department captain dies in off-duty accident

Daniel Lopez-Galvan
Daniel Lopez-Galvan

A 15-year veteran of the Fresno Fire Department was killed Thursday in an off-duty accident at his home in Madera County.

Fire officials said Capt. Daniel Lopez-Galvan died while working on his property.

Emergency Medical Services officials said he was found at his home near highways 145 and 41. The initial call came in at 6:41 a.m. that he was trapped under a tractor. When the ambulance arrived at 7 a.m., he was already dead. He had been working on a skip loader.

Word didn’t reach the Fire Department until about 7:30 a.m., when his crew was wondering why he was late and why they hadn’t heard from him, Fire Chief Kerri Donis said.

“It looked like he was moving some ground around prior to coming in to work,” she said. “We don’t know exactly what went wrong.”

His wife was waiting for him to come down the hill, Donis said. It wasn’t clear when the accident happened, she said. His wife went to find him because he had to get to work.

On the department’s Facebook page, Donis expressed “deep regret and sadness” over the death of Lopez-Galvan.

Lopez-Galvan, 38, joined the Fresno Fire Department in 2001. In 2005, he was promoted to captain. He worked at Station 3 in downtown Fresno, the city’s busiest station.

He is survived by his wife of eight years, Kerri Lynn, and an 11-month-old son, Tuff. He is also survived by his mother, Julie Lopez-Galvan, and brothers, BJ Lopez-Galvan and Jonathan Lopez-Galvan, who is also a Fresno firefighter.

“That was an awesome, amazing, very young man to be a leader in the role that he worked in this department,” said Carlton Jones, a fire engineer and president of firefighters union Local 753.

He said Lopez-Galvan and his crew were tightly knit. He was due to work at 7 a.m., and Lopez-Galvan was always on time, he said, leaving his crew to wonder about his absence.

Jones said the department will have someone “standing with Dan, with his body, through that duration, and we’ll set up a watch. We will make sure someone is there for his family 24/7, and we will do the same for our members who are having a hard time dealing with the emotional impact of this incident.”

Robert Rodriguez: 559-441-6327, @FresnoBeeBob

Marc Benjamin: 559-441-6166, @beebenjamin