Coachella Valley Native Killed Fighting Napa Fire - Palm Springs News, Weather, Traffic, Breaking News

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Coachella Valley Native Killed Fighting Napa Fire

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Coachella, CA -

Firefighter Garrett Paiz, a native of the Coachella Valley died in Napa, fighting the fires in Northern California.  

On Monday afternoon, Garrett's mother Judi received the call every firefighter's mother dreads, "He says I'm from the Napa Sheriff's Department there's been an accident, and remember just dropping the phone." 

The voice on the other end told Judi her 38-year-old son, a contract firefighter was killed when his fire tender truck overturned on a steep road in Napa. 

Garrett lived in Missouri, and was a volunteer firefighter for the Noel Fire Department but had his own business of heavy firefighting equipment.  He would travel around the country battling some of the biggest blazes. 

Judi says she had been waiting for her son to call her since the night before.

She says he'd always call at the perfect time waiting a call from a son who always would call, "It's just like if he knew he knew I needed a hug, I needed a kiss, I needed someone to talk to at times, he would always call ... well yesterday the call never came."

The family gathered at their home in Coachella to remember his life. 

His brother Carlos Paiz, a former Navy firefighter, says Garrett was an adventurous jokester with a big heart, "He was one of those kind of guys that was just always going to lend a hand wherever and do whatever it took to take care of other people," he says the last thing he told him was to be careful.

His sister Cinthia Paiz was looking forward to spending the holidays with him. She says she's proud of his life of service, "He told me he was going to be home next month and I believed him ... I'm beyond proud I mean I just still see him as my baby brother but I know he served his community as well with pride," she says through tears. 

These wildfires have been the deadliest in the state's history, scorching over 200,000 acres, destroyed over 5000 homes, and taken the lives of 41 people.

Garrett is the first firefighter to die in the fires in Northern California.

"He did pay the ultimate sacrifice but that was him, that was him," says his mother with pride and tears. 

His cousin who was also fighting the fire there was taken off the front lines following the news Garrett's death. Garrett Paiz is survived by his mother Judi, his father Armando, his brother Carlos, his sister Cinthia, his wife Bobbi, and daughter Terri Ann, who turned 18-years-old on Tuesday. His body will be brought back to the valley on Wednesday evening, where he will be laid to rest. 

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