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In a single car accident in Lassen County, a high-level state fire official, 44, lost his life.

He was the north region staff chief of operations for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

On Thursday, his car went off State Route 44, according to police. The accident is being investigated by California Highway Patrol, along with the department’s internal investigation team.

From a family of fire fighters he began his career with the Butte Unit of the state fire department in 1981.

While off duty, he rescued a child from a burning building in 1998 and was awarded the Medal of Valor.

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