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By Shawn Raymundo

Ken Caley, a San Clemente resident and retired fire apparatus engineer with the Orange County Fire Authority, died Wednesday, April 15, after being hospitalized for coronavirus, according to OCFA.

Retiring from OCFA in 2018 after a 38-year career in fire service, Caley, 59, had been battling the illness at a hospital for a few weeks, Fire Capt. Greg Barta, OCFA’s public information officer, said.

“(He was) well-loved here, well respected. He was kind of the life of the party. Very charismatic, a very infectious smile, and everybody, really, really loved him,” Barta said. “It’s a sad time, obviously, for us as an organization; we’re mourning his loss, but even more so for his wife and two daughters.”

Caley is survived by his wife, Karla, and two daughters, Michelle and Christine. He began his fire service with the Alhambra Fire department in 1980 before transitioning in 1982 to OCFA, formerly named the Orange County Fire Department. Caley retired in March 2018 out of OCFA’s Fire Station 33 at John Wayne Airport.

As of April 17, there have been 28 cumulative deaths related coronavirus in Orange County, according to the county’s health office.

This is a developing story.

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