Cause of death released for LA County firefighter killed in Rancho Palos Verdes fire

The autopsy report of Jonathan Flagler, the Los Angeles County firefighter killed earlier this year while fighting a fire in Rancho Palos Verdes was released Wednesday. 

According to the report, Flagler's death was an accident that resulted from "cardiopulmonary arrest, due to or as a consequence of suffocation."

Also noted in the report are "other conditions contributing but not related to the immediate cause of death." Listed in this section  are "effects of methamphetamine, COVID-19 positive."

The report said his death occurred due to "self contained breathing apparatus ran out of air while fighting fire, drug intake."

Flagler, 47, died in January after being overcome by smoke and flames inside the home. A resident of San Clemente, Flagler was a married father of two boys, aged 15 and 13.

Lawyers for Flagler's family released a statement Wednesday, alleging that Flagler's death, "was caused when on-scene commanders failed to keep track of the firefighters inside the burning residence, maintain radio contact with those firefighters, and promptly rescue Jonathan." The statement continued, "the autopsy concluded Jonathan died because he suffered a heart attack when he ran out of air, and there were no other conditions related to that immediate cause of death."

Flagler was among the crew members from Fire Station 83 who responded to the blaze on January 6 in the 30700 block of Tarapaca Road.

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Flagler was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, where he died. He is survived by his wife, Jenny Johnson Flagler, and the couple's two sons.

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