Martiniano R. Lerma

October 15, 1977

Private assigned to Fire Squad 1, died while fighting a fire in the vacant Astro Shanta Lounge at 1027 South Third Street at 12:30 a.m. on October 15, 1977. The squad company was operating a hand line near the front entrance of the building when a rapid buildup of heat and smoke forced their retreat. During this retreat, Lerma apparently became disoriented and was trapped in a nearby room, where he died. Four other firefighters were injured. Martiniano R. Lerma, 42, had been with the department for nine years. He was married and the father of five children.