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San Antonio reacts after firefighter dies in freak accident in line of duty

'Please watch yourself around emergency vehicles,' SAFD Chief Hood said

SAN ANTONIO – A firefighter with the San Antonio Fire Department (SAFD) has died following an accident Tuesday morning, according to San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood.

Firefighter Greg Garza, a 17-year veteran with SAFD, was hit by a van while on scene at an electrical call in the 500 block of Live Oak, Chief Hood said.

Garza, 49, was taken to Brook Army Military Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries.

ORIGINAL: SAFD firefighter struck by vehicle while on duty dies, sources say

The SAFD is asking for prayers and continued vigilance.

"Greg was a stunningly tall, muscular man. He was a happy individual. Every time you saw Greg he had a big smile on his face," Chief Hood said during a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

A memorial account for Garza has been set up at Generations FCU. Anyone wishing to donate should reference the "Greg Garza Memorial Account."

Anyone who would like to donate or help the 100 Club of San Antonio, which provides support for the families of fallen first responders, click here.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg has ordered flags to be lowered to half staff in honor of Garza.

"Our hearts break today for the loss of one of our own first responders. Greg Garza of the San Antonio Fire Department succumbed to his injuries after being struck by a vehicle early this morning during an emergency response. Mr. Garza was a son of San Antonio and honorably served as a San Antonio Firefighter for 17 years. San Antonio's loss today is a tragic reminder of how much our first responders and their families sacrifice to keep us all safe. Our thoughts, prayers and hearts rest with the Garza family and our Firefighters today. Let us lift them up," Nirenberg said in a statement sent to KSAT.

Local fire departments and other well-wishers have sent condolences via social media:

"Today we lost one of our own. We lost a hero. We lost a husband and son. We lost a man who loved his city. Firefighter Greg Garza lost his life this morning while out on a call doing the job he loved. We are forever grateful to Firefighter Garza and his beloved family for the ultimate sacrifice he made to ensure our city's safety and peace.
To the Garza family, we offer love, support, and a prayer that our Lord gives you peace and comfort. Firefighter Garza, let perpetual light shine upon you as you are welcomed into paradise. To SAFD, San Antonio is behind you.
Psalms 119:50 - My comfort in my suffering is this: your promise preserves my life."

-Councilwoman Melissa Cabello Havrda

"I was truly heartbroken to learn of the passing of firefighter Greg Garza. Our first responders risk their lives to keep the community safe. Greg Garza was tragically killed performing the routine duties of his job. I ask that we keep his family and fellow San Antonio Fire Department brothers and sisters in our prayers, and that we continue to support one another through this difficult time. 
Let this tragedy serve as a reminder to us to do our part to protect our first responders. Slow down, move over and use caution. We owe it to these men and women to keep them safe."

-Councilman Clayton Perry

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About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT including the Austin bombings, the mass shooting at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, the Dallas police ambush and Hurricane Harvey.