The members of Los Angeles County Fire Department Engine 4 and Crew 5-1 were lost while fighting the ‘Hacienda Fire’ that began on Hacienda Road near the intersection with Canada Sombre. The team was in position above the fire protecting homes as the fire raced across local hillsides just after noon on Sept. 2, 1955.
Flames exploded out of the draw into eucalyptus trees, which sent heat and flame down upon the men and engulfed them instantly.
Captain Glenn Rockey took an inch and half hose and charged into the flames in a selfless attempt to save the crew. Captain Rockey and five young crew members lost their lives.
‘Without hesitation or concern for his personal safety, Captain Rockey rushed into obvious danger more concerned with the lives of others than his own,’ said a Fire Department commendation at the time. ‘Captain Rockey made the supreme sacrifice for his fellow fire fighters. There is no greater valor.’
Decades after this tragic event, the La Habra Heights City Council decided to memorialize the historic sacrifice of these brave souls by installing a special plaque in the La Heights Civic Center. The plaque, which underscores the importance of fire prevention efforts, will also be part of ongoing training programs for fire fighters serving La Habra Heights on other nearby communities.