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2 Pasadena firefighters are killed in plane crash

June 16, 2007|Jesus Sanchez | Times Staff Writer

Two veteran Pasadena firefighters were killed when their private plane crashed while they were returning from a vacation in Mexico, officials said Friday.

John Kiesow, 49, the pilot, and Kenneth Soltis, 47, were the only two people onboard when the aircraft crashed Thursday afternoon in the Gulf of California off Baja California, said Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian.

The exact location and cause of the crash were not known, and the Fire Department was seeking details from Mexican officials, Derderian said.

The two friends were believed to have been returning from a fishing vacation in Mexico, where Kiesow owns a home, Derderian said.

Kiesow and Soltis, who had each spent more than 20 years with the department, had been scheduled to return to work Friday.

Kiesow was an airplane enthusiast whose flight instructor father taught him to fly. The Agua Dulce resident is survived by his wife, Verlene, son Arthur and daughters Charleen and Jennifer.

Soltis, of La Verne, helped restore and operate the department's antique fire engine. He is survived by his wife, Shanna, and three daughters, ages 13, 18 and 20.

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jesus.sanchez@latimes.com

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