fire follow up 6_16_14

Latrell McCockran, 14, stands next to caution tape Monday, marking apartments that burned, at the Grande Vista apartment complex, in Fairfield. McCockran helped a man escape from the burning apartments, Saturday. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)


Brothers called heroes for response to Fairfield fire

By From page A1 | June 18, 2014

FAIRFIELD — Latrell McCockran was lifting weights when the 14-year-old said he smelled smoke and then saw flames coming from a downstairs apartment unit where a 62-year-old disabled man was struggling to get out.

McCockran entered the unit and helped the man escape from the blaze – and then went back in when the man said his dog was inside, the Fairfield Fire Department said of the 7:30 p.m. Saturday fire.

The teen got the Labrador and called out to anyone else inside before the heat and smoke became unbearable and McCockran had to leave the empty unit, the Fire Department said.

His mother, Latisha McCockran, said she tells her sons Latrell and Latravion, 12 – who went door-to-door alerting residents about the fire – not to be bystanders.

“I teach them that if you see something going on, try to get involved,” she said.

Battalion Chief Matt Luckenbach called the actions of the two boys heroic and said 62-year-old Rick Smith is alive at the 41-unit, two-story Grande Vista apartment on Grande Circle, because of Latrell.

Smith, who received singe marks to his hair, said Monday that he doesn’t walk too well, had just awakened Saturday and was in a daze when Latrell arrived.

The teen didn’t think any alternative was possible Saturday night.

“That’s not right,” Latrell said, “just to leave people in a burning house.”

He and his brother will be honored at the June 24 meeting of the Fairfield City Council, said Councilwoman Catherine Moy.

She said crimes that occur around Grande Circle can leave a mistaken impression about the neighborhood.

“There are good people,” Moy said. “Like the McCockran family.”

Latisha McCockran said the positive parts of the area are often overlooked.

“They never hear about the good around here,” the mother said. “They hear about the bad.”

The family, who live four doors down from the fire, stayed at United Methodist Church after the fire Saturday and will return home Wednesday. Latrell and his 9-month-old sister L’Amouriana both have asthma that smoke in the area doesn’t help.

Latisha McCockran took her 14-year-old son to the hospital Saturday night to treat smoke inhalation he sustained during his rescue efforts.

Latrell, who wants to attend UCLA, is among the very good people who live along Grande Circle, said Councilman John Mraz.

“I’m proud of this kid,” Mraz said.

The Fire Department acknowledged Latrell’s heroic actions – and also reminded residents that entering a burning building without advanced training and proper equipment can be life-threatening. Moy went a step further and called the brothers heroes.

Ingrid Swanson, manager of the Grande Vista apartment, said Latrell and Latravion McCockran often do something that doesn’t bring the TV news crews that arrived at the site Monday. They help carry residents’ groceries, Swanson said.

“They’re both good kids,” she said of the brothers.

The fire essentially destroyed three apartments and caused smoke damage to two others, Battalion Chief John Sturdee said Sunday. He estimated the damage at approximately $400,000. The cause of the fire remained under investigation.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


Discussion | 18 comments

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  • GemmaJune 16, 2014 - 9:47 pm

    I'm glad this young man was recognized for his heroic actions. His mom is clearly doing a good job.I don't know the kid, and I'm very proud of him.

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  • S KJune 17, 2014 - 6:01 am

    Me TOO!!!!!! Great kid.

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  • JimboJune 16, 2014 - 10:20 pm

    Now this is news, real news that happens everyday usually overlooked by media. Good job covering a very newsworthy story. And much praise to the McCockran family. They sound like some great neighbors.

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  • boomJune 16, 2014 - 10:31 pm

    Good to know they(DR) listen to their readers(OR Commenters). Kudos to the young men.

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  • DebbieJune 17, 2014 - 12:32 am

    Great job Latrell and Latravion! What brave caring young men. You two are obviously good kids and I hope you both stay on the right track in life. It's nice to hear of young kids who don't hesitate to help others. You two are being great role models for your little sister. We definitely need more people like you two in this town. Ms. Latisha you are doing a wonderful job! Good for you! Bless you all!

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  • 2realJune 17, 2014 - 5:46 am

    Moy.. put a sock in it.

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  • S KJune 17, 2014 - 6:04 am

    Cut her some slack. This young man needs to be recognized by the city, community. So she stepped up.

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  • nonchalantJune 17, 2014 - 7:04 am

    Yes some good boys growing to be men someday hopefully still have the same mind set to help people.totally opposite from the other people Ihear about in that area.they saved a man .how many in fairfield can say they done that or even know someone who has.keep up the good news

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  • SOLID YOUTHJune 17, 2014 - 7:15 am

    Ms. Latisha McCockran, YOU are also a hero. You've raised two fine boys. "DON'T BE A BYSTANDER". (join me in adopting that as the unofficial Fairfield motto!) Please be sure to publish Latrell's college graduation date! All of Fairfield scream a collective and proud, "Woo hoo!" "Hero", the mark of a man, and so true here.

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  • Thank you!June 17, 2014 - 7:53 am

    Awesome article! Even out of a tragic event (thank goodness no one was hurt) something wonderful has come out of it. I hope that both of these boys do not give up on their dreams, and know that even though they live somewhere with a notoriously dangerous reputation, they do not have to follow in those footsteps. Thank you Ryan and the DR for this article.

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  • YELPJune 17, 2014 - 1:17 pm

    The DR only and I STRESS only ran this story because of two things, 1 the Bay Area News stations found out about this and started running the story about this kid right away, something the DR should have done before the local News stations ran their, and 2 because the council got involved, once again, something the DR should have done before people demanded a story about this great kid. So bottom line is this, THE DR can not and has never been able to run a good story with out a gun to the editors head or the local news making a joke out of the local paper that cant even run stories fast an on time. And they wonder why they are losing money and subscriptions.

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  • savingwithmamaJune 17, 2014 - 4:19 pm

    Totally agree with you Yelp! But I also think the city council got involved because the public was making so many comments about Latrell being a hero and should be recognized as one. I noticed Moy commented about honoring him after several comments had already been made. Either way, I'm glad he and his brother are both being honored.

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  • Adrienne HarrisJuly 02, 2014 - 2:46 pm

    Actually, it was the DR – and more specifically me – who was FIRST to uncover the heroic deed of Latrell and conducted the first interview, which ran in a story that published the day after the fire. I was actually leaving the scene when TV news arrived and was on deadline to write MULTIPLE stories. Unfortunately, newspapers can't compete with TV when they can go live on a story before the newspaper publishes the next day. But make no mistake, it was the DR that made this story a reality. TV news, city council and fire just followed suit.

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  • Rick WoodJuly 02, 2014 - 4:53 pm

    Thank you for that report, Adrienne. Amazing how people jump to conclusions. I'm not sure how the electronic media would have gotten this story without the DR. I guess via social media or song stringer getting there first. But that didn't happen.

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  • Rick WoodJuly 02, 2014 - 9:01 pm


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  • TweetsJune 17, 2014 - 3:26 pm

    Good job mom! You should be very proud of yourself and your sons. You reap what you sow. You set the example, hopefully all will see and follow

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  • DudhsnbeJune 17, 2014 - 6:54 pm

    Funny shirt xD

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  • You ARE fly!June 18, 2014 - 6:03 am

    You are the MAN Latrell! And it's all because of your mom who is one of the thousands of heros that we never hear about. (I'm adopting her instructions to you as Fairfield's unofficial motto, "Don't be a bystander!") words to live by. There are mostly hard working good families like this is Fairfield. Unfortunately, stories about real people, doing good things don't sell newspapers. Murder, guns and fear do.

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