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Incident Name:  Hacienda Fire
Date:  September 2, 1955
Personnel:  6 lives lost: Glenn Rockey and 5 unnamed juvenile crew members of Crew 5-1
Agency/Organization:  Los Angeles County Fire Department
Position: firefighters

Summary: On 9/2/55 Captain Glenn Rockey of LACoFD Engine 4 died of burn injuries on the 1150 acre “Hacienda Fire” while trying to rescue 5 juvenile members of LAC Probation Forestry Camp Crew 5-1. The 5 members of Crew 5-1 also succumbed to burn injuries. Seven others were severely injured. As a result of these deaths and the deaths on the Canyon Fire or Canyon Inn Fire in 1968, the Los Angeles County Fire Department re-evaluated and discontinued the practice of using juveniles to fight fire.


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La Habra Heights hillside


Hacienda Fire Map Hacienda Fire Map
Hacienda Fire Map 2 Hacienda Fire Map 2


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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • Brief NWCG Historical Fire Records: Historical Wildland Firefighter Fatalities 1910 - 1996
    • Year: 1955
    • Fire Name / Location: Hacienda, CA
    • Number of Fatalities: 6
    • Agency: Other (LA County)
    • Fire Behavior: Light fuel, high temp., low RH and unstable.
    • Remarks: Foreman and crew were in bowl-like area when flashover occurred.
  • From the LAC Archives, La Habra Heights burnover site:
La Habra Heights fatality site La Habra Heights fatality site



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Media Articles and Reports.

  • 'Laughing Man' Hunted in Fire Fatal to Six

    Sep 4, 1955 | LA Times. (Pay to read)

    The fire burned between Fullerton Road to the east, and Hacienda Blvd. to the west. The fire took the lives of five teen-agers from. San Dimas Forestry Camp No. 5-1 and Captain Glenn Rockey of Los Angeles County FD Engine 4...

  • Board to Probe Use of Boys by County as Fire Fighters

    Sep 6, 1955 | LA Times (Pay to read)

    The County Board of Supervisors, prompted by the death of five teen-agers in the disastrous La Habra Heights fire last week, will open an inquiry today into the use of juveniles as firefighters...

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Photos, Videos, & Tributes

  • Los Angeles County Fire Department Honors Extraordinary Actions

    5/17/2012 | Robert O'Connor

    Los Angeles – May 16, 2012 – Almost 57 years after he was killed in an “explosion of fire” while trying to save fellow firefighters during the Hacienda Brush Fire in 1955, Los Angeles County Fire Captain Glenn Rockey will be posthumously awarded the Medal of Valor by Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby. Rockey will be among 25 members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department and 16 citizen heroes honored at the 2012 Valor Awards on May 21, at 7 p.m., at the Pasadena Convention Center... More at the link.


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Contributors to this article: Gerald Meehan, Larry Tucker, LAC, Rick Messier

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