SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said late Thursday night that one firefighter has been killed fighting a massive 4-alarm fire at a Northwest Side shopping center.
Scott Deem, a six-year veteran of the fire department, was killed in the line of duty.
UPDATE: The San Antonio Fire Department said on Friday that those interested in bringing items for a memorial should do so to Public Safety Headquarters found at 315 South Santa Rosa, as Station 35 will continue to be an active station.
“We had firefighters that fought fire desperately tonight to try to save their friend’s life,” Hood said. “You work with people for a third of your life in this job, and any one of us would lay down our lives for another firefighter. They fought heroically.”
A procession was immediately held after Deem was placed into an ambulance to be taken to the medical examiner’s office.
Crisis intervention personnel are now assisting the crews affected by the fire. Chief Hood said support personnel went to the hospitals to take care of family members of the injured firefighters.
“At this time, I would like to ask the citizens of San Antonio to give us your prayers tonight because we are hurting. But we’re going to continue to do the good job that we always do,” Chief Hood said.
The two mayoral candidates, mayor Ivy Taylor and councilman Ron Nirenburg, commented on Thursday's tragedy by sending out tweets.
Please keep our men and women in the San Antonio Fire Department in your prayers tonight. @SAFirePIO— Ron Nirenberg (@Ron_Nirenberg) May 19, 2017
San Antonio now has had a total of 20 fallen firefighters in its history, according to the SA Professional Firefighters Association. The last one was Fire Apparatus Operator Jesse F. Bricker Jr., who died on May 4, 1997.
A press conference will be held on Friday morning.
Governor Greg Abbott also released a statement on Friday.
“Cecilia and I extend our heartfelt sympathies to the Deem family during this unimaginably difficult time,” said Governor Abbott. “Those who put their lives on the line to serve others deserve our deepest respect, and we can never say thank you enough. In the days to come, we ask that all Texans join us in sending their well wishes to those injured in this incident for a full and speedy recovery, and in keeping everyone affected by this fire in their thoughts and prayers.”
Stay with KSAT 12 both online and on-air for more information on this developing story.
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