Fallen firefighter remembered as a hero

THOUSAND PALMS, Calif. - Christopher Douglas left behind a family, friends, and a reputation not soon forgotten. 

"He was just an amazing firefighter and paramedic. Very well respected. I hadn't heard anyone say a bad thing. He had the biggest smile, biggest heart. A mentor to people coming up that were new. He was gentle and kind to the patients he was working on. The epitome of what we want out firefighters to be," Cal Fire Battalion Chief Julie Hutchinson said. 

On his way to a traffic accident Friday morning, Douglas stopped on the I-10 eastbound on-ramp off Monterey. When he stepped out of his vehicle,  a Ford F-150 pickup truck hit him. Douglas is survived by his wife, Amy, who is pregnant, and their two-year-old son, Sammy.  

"I had the opportunity to talk to his wife yesterday and family. The pride in their voice about what he did and how much he loved being a firefighter and paramedic, it warms my heart," Hutchinson said.  "Her life was changed forever while he was serving the public. That's something that we all have a debt of respect to him for paying that ultimate service."

An 8-year veteran of Cal Fire, Douglas is a true model of courage. Hutchinson showed us where people have left flowers at the Fire Station 35 sign in Thousand Palms, the station Douglas worked for when he lost his life. She said people will remember him like his wife will.  

"She is such a strong and amazing woman. She is so proud of her husband and the work he did. Like he is a hero to all of us, he is her hero," Hutchinson said. 

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