BERKELEY -- A memorial service is set Sunday for a Berkeley firefighter killed in a tractor accident last week, a fire official said.
The service for 54-year-old Tony Nunes is open to the public and will be held at noon at the Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, said Berkeley Fire Chief Gil Dong.
Nunes, who served nearly 28 years with the department, was riding a tractor around 6:40 p.m. Feb. 24 at his Martinez home at Via Domingos and Bear Creek Road near Briones Regional Park when the vehicle overturned and slid down about 200 feet into a canyon, according to the California Highway Patrol. Nunes, who was pinned under the tractor, died at the scene.
Dong said he believes Nunes, who was off-duty, was preparing the property for either the upcoming fire season or a heavy storm.
Nunes, who used to work as a Piedmont firefighter, also worked as a reserve firefighter with the Contra Costa Fire Protection District.
On Thursday in Sacramento, assembly members Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, and Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, adjourned floor session in memory of Nunes.
"The entire community of Berkeley and all of Berkeley Fire is suffering a great loss," Skinner said. "Fellow firefighters will always remember how Tony epitomized nerves of steel. They often joked that he must have lacked adrenal glands, because of how he kept calm under pressure. That, of course, is very important as a firefighter."
Members of the Nunes family and fellow firefighters attended the Capitol to observe the adjournment in his memory. He is survived by his children Antonia Polan and Thomas Nunes.
"My friends at Berkeley Fire asked me to share a few things," Skinner added. "One was that Tony was someone who loved his profession. One day, he saw a young girl across the fire station selling lemonade, so he decided to put on his full uniform and joined her for a few hours and quadrupled her lemonade sales."
Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/nataliealund.