Newsom releases statement on death of fire captain

State News

FILE – In this Friday, May 22, 2020, file photo, California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference at the Veterans Home of California in Yountville, Calif. A federal appeals court has denied a Southern California church’s request to overturn the state’s coronavirus restrictions barring worship services indoors during the coronavirus pandemic. The Sacramento Bee says Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals leaves the door open for addressing Gov. Gavin Newsom administration’s limits on church attendance if a California county is in a less-restrictive COVID-19 tier. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, Pool, File)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGET) — Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday said the bravery and dedication of a Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District fire captain who died last week from COVID-19 complications will not be forgotten.

W. Chris Mertz died Jan. 20. He was a 30-year veteran of the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District.

“Jennifer and I were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Fire Captain Mertz,” Newsom said in a release. “Fire Captain Mertz devoted his life to protecting his fellow Californians and his tremendous bravery, dedication and sacrifice will not be forgotten. We offer our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.”

Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff in Mertz’s honor.

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