Sergeant Steven Donald Van Horn

Sergeant Steven Donald Van Horn

Newport Beach Police Department, California

End of Watch Sunday, November 16, 1997

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Steven Donald Van Horn

Sergeant Steve Van Horn died as the result of leukemia that developed after he responded to a toxic chemical fire on February 22nd, 1987.

The fire broke out at the Hixson Metal Finishing Company plant at 829 Production Place. The fire engulfed a 10,000 square-foot warehouse that stored over 140 different chemicals.

Sergeant Van Horn coordinated traffic and evacuation at the scene without protective gear and was exposed to the toxic chemicals. After the fire, Sergeant Van Horn and three firefighters were diagnosed with cancer in January 1995. Sergeant Van Horn passed away from the illness on November 16, 1997. One other firefighter has also passed away. The city of Newport Beach proclaimed his illness and death duty related.

Sergeant Van Horn had served with the Newport Police Department for 24 years and previously served with the Yuma Police Department (Arizona). He is survived by his wife and six children.


  • Age 48
  • Tour 26 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Duty related illness
  • Incident Date Sunday, February 22, 1987

fire, toxic fumes

Most Recent Reflection

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Sgt. Van Horn,
On today, the 25th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just for your Community but for our Country as well when you served with the USMC. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!
A fellow LEO; former Marine

United States Border Patrol

November 16, 2022

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