SAN ANTONIO - First responders from across the nation paid their respects Thursday afternoon in honoring fallen firefighter Scott Deem who lost his life seven days ago in a four-alarm fire.
Deem, a six-year veteran with the San Antonio Fire Department, was assigned to Ladder 35 who were among one of the first companies to arrive to the fire scene at Ingram Square.
Deem lost his life when he entered one of the structures in the strip mall to attack the fire and search for possible victims that may be trapped inside.
His courage and heroism not only left a lasting impact on SAFD, but to other first responders from other cities who traveled hundreds of miles to San Antonio to attend Deem's visitation.
“The fire department is like a big family (and) when somebody suffers from another department, in another city especially in Texas, we all feel it,” Demetrius Countouriotis with Austin Fire Department said. “When something like this happens to a city like San Antonio that’s very similar to us (Austin), it hits close to home.”
For Capt. Kevin Gehrig with the Weir Fire Department, the first responder brotherhood goes beyond the patch and uniform.
“It doesn’t matter where it is. Whether it’s in the state of Texas or the rest of the United States, it does hurt us,” Gehrig said. “Just by being here, (we’re letting) the city of San Antonio know we’re here and we support them.”
Gehrig said departments from other cities such as New York City, Arlington and Laredo all traveled to the Alamo City to pay their respect in supporting the San Antonio Fire Department and send their condolences to the Deem family.
More than 175 fire trucks from across the country are expected to lead the procession at 9 a.m. to the Community Bible Church where the funeral is being held.
The funeral begins at 1 p.m. and open to the public, but SAFD advises to arrive early as seating and parking at the church is limited.
Overflow will be available at Cornerstone Church near Loop 1604 and Stone Oak Parkway with shuttles provided.
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