Richard Montoya Memorial
The funeral for Richard Montoya of the Denver Fire Department was held on May 25th, 2006 at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver. Montoya served with the Denver Fire Department for 30 years and only 15 shifts from his retirement. Montoya was in a medically induced coma, on a ventilator, since May 14th, 2006 when Denver firefighters were dispatched to a structure fire at 4306 Thompson Court with reports of a trapped occupant. Engine 9 and Tower 9 were first to arrive. The crews found heavy smoke and fire issuing from the two-story residence. Engine 9, under the command of Lieutenant Richard Montoya, along with Tower 9 members, entered the residence and proceeded to the second floor for an aggressive interior attack and search. Quickly, they located a 16-year-old patient and removed her from the residence. Other companies were now on scene and assisting with the operation. Fire conditions on the second floor were becoming extreme when firefighters inside heard the beeping warning sound of a PASS (Personal Alert Safety System) device. Command initiated the Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) for a downed firefighter. Crews on the interior began an aggressive search for the downed firefighter. Battling worsening fire conditions and debris, they located Lieutenant Montoya under a mattress in a bedroom adjacent to the stairs. His mask had been dislodged. Lieutenant Montoya was removed from the building and was in full cardiac arrest. Prior to his arrival at Denver Health and Hospital, his pulse was restored. After Lieutenant Montoya was in intensive care for seven days, he was removed from life support. The cause of death was oxygen deprivation resulting from smoke inhalation. Lieutenant Richard Patrick Montoya, was age 61, and was appointed to the department on July 1st, 1976. He was a Navy veteran who served two tours in Vietnam.