In memorium: 20 firefighters who gave their lives to protect San Antonio

San Antonio firefighter Scott Deem died Wednesday battling fire

By Mary Claire Patton - Digital Content Curator
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Photo courtesy SAFD Facebook

SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio firefighter Scott Deem was killed Thursday night battling a for-alarm fire in Northwest San Antonio.

Deem was a six-year veteran of the fire department and the 20th San Antonio firefighter to lose his life in the line of duty.

A memorial page for has been set up by the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association

The follow is a list of all 20 firefighters who’ve lost their lives protecting the citizens of Alamo City.

Scott Deem, 31
Firefighter -- May 18, 2017
Deem, 31, died after responding to a four-alarm fire that injured two fellow firefighters. Deem was performing a search and rescue of the building to make sure nobody was inside.

Jesse Bricker, Jr.
Fire apparatus operator -- May 4, 1997
Bricker, Jr., 47, died as a result of cardiac arrest that was exacerbated by stress and smoke inhalation that occurred while fighting a four-alarm motel fire.

James Boullosa
Lieutenant -- Sept. 11, 1988
Boullosa, 45, was in charge of Engine Company 28 when he responded to a fire in a residence. Boullosa was overcome by smoke while fighting the fire and transported from the fire ground to the Baptist Memorial Hospital by EMS.

Ernest Flores
Lieutenant -- March 22, 1987
Flores, 62, responded to reports of a smell of ammonia at the L&H Packing Plant. Flores lost his grip while getting on a running board and fell beneath the 13-ton fire truck's wheels, dying instantly.

Charles Edwards
Captain -- Jan. 18, 1976
Edwards, 62, a 39-year veteran of the San Antonio Fire Department, suffered a heart attack while fighting a large grass fire in the 2300 block of Nopal Street.

Willie Ojeda
Lieutenant -- May 8, 1975
Ojeda, 43, lost his life trying to save a 29-year-old man and 12-year-old boy from drowning in swift waters during a thunderstorm. He was working a 12-hour overtime shift the night of his death.

Charles Ehrlich
Lieutenant -- Aug. 14, 1973
Ehrlich, 43, became ill after he and his crew pulled six burning mattresses from a building. Breathing apparatuses were not in use at this time and Ehrlich succumbed to a heart attack.

Joe Ramirez
Firefighter -- Jan. 8, 1966
Ramirez, 46, collapsed after being overcome by heavy smoke when responding to a three-alarm fire. He was pulled out of the building covered in wet ashes by a fellow firefighter and pronounced dead upon arrival at Santa Rosa Hospital.

Ramiro Rivera
Firefighter -- July 3, 1963
Rivera, 39, lost his grip while sliding down a station fire pole and fell 18 feet. He died from his injuries.

Walter Kalisky
Engineer -- Aug. 28, 1955
Kalisky, 49, was stricken while engaged in pumping operations at a warehouse fire. Police Officer W. B. King administered artificial respiration, but the veteran fireman was pronounced dead on arrival at Santa Rosa Hospital.

John Rodriguez
Captain -- Nov. 13, 1950
Rodriguez, 48, and his crew responded to a regular alarm fire at the Handy Andy supermarket. Rodriguez collapsed near a fire truck after the fire was extinguished and was pronounced dead on arrival at Santa Rosa Hospital.

Alfred Gassman
Captain -- Jan. 22, 1943
Gassmann, 49, was driving a ladder truck on Jan. 19, 1943 when it collided with a butane truck that ignored the emergency vehicle warnings. Gassmann sustained injuries in the crash and died several days later from what was believed to be a blood clot.

Henry Martinez
Fireman -- Jan. 19, 1943
Martinez, 30, was killed when a ladder truck he was riding on collided with a butane truck that ignored the emergency vehicle warnings. Martinez was killed instantly when he was thrown to the pavement from the ladder trucks running board.

August Wagner
Fireman -- Aug. 6, 1937
Wagner, 25, was fatally injured when the fire truck Engine 3 he was responding on, collided head-on with Engine 7. The impact was so forceful that Engine 3 overturned and landed on top of the other fire truck. A total of 10 firefighters were injured in this accident.

Herman Kneupper
Fireman -- December 1936
Kneupper, 34, lost his life while responding to an emergency call out of Fire Station 13. The firetruck he was on collided with an automobile and both vehicles overturned. Kneupper was pinned between the truck and the curb.

Claude Ratteree
Chief William Bishop’s chauffer -- Jan. 1, 1918
Ratterree, 22, was involved in a collision with Engine 7 during an emergency response with the fire chief to a house fire on the east side of town. Ratterree suffered a fractured skull after being thrown through a display window.

Robert Kopplin
Lieutenant -- Dec. 31, 1917
Kopplin, 31, was killed when Engine 7, collided with fire Chief William Bishop's car. The impact hurled the veteran firefighter over the top of the rear tailboard and his body struck the pavement.

William Bishop
Fire Chief -- Dec. 31, 1917
Bishop, 27, was in an open cab Locomobile which collided with Engine 7. Bishop was crushed by the truck and pronounced dead at the scene. Two other firefighters and a 10-year-old bystander also died in the accident.

Gilbert Hovey
First assistant chief -- Aug. 14, 1915
Hovey, 36, died in an automobile accident when the steering gear broke on his car while answering an alarm. The chief's funeral procession was led by the chief's buggy and drawn by Hovey's favorite horse, Bryan.

John Crivelli
Fireman -- Jan. 20, 1908
Crivelli, 27, was one of four firefighters injured while responding to a small stove fire. Their horse drawn wagon overturned and Crivelli hit his head on streetcar tracks rendering him unconscious. He succumbed to his injuries after being taken to Santa Rosa Hospital. 

For full details on each fallen firefighter click here to be taken to the San Antonio Professional Firefighter Association's memorial page. 

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