Francisco Hernandez was a World War II veteran who earned a Purple Heart and survived the Normandy Invasion. Hernandez, known to his family as Kiko, spent the last forty years living in a small, home on West Avenue 44 in Mt. Washington. On Friday night, the home caught fire and Herandez, 89, perished in the flames. His niece, Maya Hoo, told the L.A. Times that her uncle was suffering from dementia but remained fiercely independent:
“He was an adventurer and was full of life,” Hoo said. “He still walked those steep hills near his house twice a week. My uncle was my hero.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.