Cal­i­for­nia hero fire­fighter Bill Clay­ton passes away

Ripon Bulletin - - Local / State -

CARLSBAD. (AP) — Bill Clay­ton, a fire­fighter who helped res­cue hun­dreds of peo­ple and twice re­ceived Cal­i­for­nia’s high­est honor, has died.

The San Diego Union-Tri­bune says Clay­ton was 77 when he died Sun­day of nat­u­ral causes in Carlsbad. His friend, re­tired state fire Bat­tal­ion Chief Ray Chaney, tells the pa­per that Clay­ton was “a leg­end.”

Clay­ton spent five decades with the U.S. For­est Ser­vice and the Cal­i­for­nia Depart­ment of Forestry and Fire Pro­tec­tion.

He re­ceived the state’s Medal of Valor for a 1997 res­cue in which he and oth­ers drove through a 50-foot wall of flame to res­cue three peo­ple in Es­con­dido.

He re­ceived a sec­ond medal for sav­ing a man in 2003 and co­or­di­nat­ing help for some 200 peo­ple trapped inside a casino dur­ing a San Diego County wild­fire.


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