A tragic day today for firefighters in both Oakland and San Diego, as four-year veteran of the Oakland Fire Department Caeden Laffan died by drowning in San Diego at about 2 am Thursday morning, while attending the California Summer Firefighter Games.

KRON4 had the sad news early Thursday that an Oakland firefighter died in a drowning incident just before 2 am near San Diego’s Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach Thursday. The San Diego Police Department received a call of a possible drowning at 1:56 am. San Diego Lifeguards and US Coast Guard crews swept the area, eventually recovering the victim’s body at 4:15 am. At that point, the victim was still unidentified.

But KTVU was the first with the nes that the victim was Oakland firefighter Caeden Laffan, a four-year veteran of that force. Laffan had a distinguished career playing football, and baseball at Sacramento’s Christian Brothers High School, joined the Oakland Fire Department in 2020, and was in San Diego attending the California Summer Firefighter Games.

He was 25.

NBC Bay Area reports the circumstances of the drowning are not clear, and an investigation is underway. Authorities did suggest alcohol may have played a role.

The death put a dark cloud over the San Diego Police Department, having to inform Oakland Fire Chief Damon Covington that one of his firefighters had passed away in their jurisdiction.

"All of our firefighters are part of our family," San Diego Fire Department Chief Colin Stowell told KTVU. "It doesn't matter what agency they work for. I just wanted to give my condolences to him and my pledge to make sure that he knew we would treat his firefighter like one of our own down here."

KTVU also has the tragic footnote that Laffan’s father was Oakland Fire Department Assistant Chief Sean Laffan, who died on the job of a heart attack in November 2020, when Caeden Laffan had just joined the force as a probationary firefighter. Father Sean Laffan was only 42 years old at the time, and the two had looked forward to working together for years.

"We had about 10 years we could have worked together in the fire department," Caeden Laffan told KTVU the time. "It got cut short to a year but I loved every second of it, that's for sure."

Related: San Francisco Firefighter Dies During Routine Training In Mission District [SFist]

Image: @OaklandFireCA via Twitter