SAN ANTONIO - Hundreds of San Antonio firefighters marched downtown Thursday to pay tribute to a fallen comrade.
Firefighters marched from the Alamodome to Alamo Plaza in what was called "The Walk of Honor."
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The march comes one week after firefighter Scott Deem, 31, was killed battling a four-alarm fire at a Northwest Side strip mall. Two other firefighters, Robert Vasquez and Brad Phipps, were also injured. Phipps remains in critical condition at San Antonio Military Medical Center. Vasquez was treated and released.
Fire Chief Charles Hood said the week has been a heartbreaking one for the department.
"One of the most challenging weeks in the history of this organization. One of the most challenging weeks of this generation of firefighters. For us to lose a member like that and have another seriously injured," Hood said.
Many firefighters said the past few days have been filled with sadness and heartache.
"Stunned. You're just in disbelief. I was in a fog, looking at everything," San Antonio Fire Capt. Raul Chapa said. "Even the next day. You're hoping you're going to wake up, hoping it's a nightmare ... and you'll see him. But unfortunately, that's not the case.
"Speaking from a psychological standpoint, it's important for everybody to work through that trauma, this is partly closure. We all want to have an opportunity to say goodbye. Obviously, it was very sudden, very unexpected at the scene for a lot of firefighters that were there."
Firefighters who participated in the march said they are grateful for the community's support during this difficult time.
Memorial services for Deem will begin Thursday with a public visitation from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Porter Loring Mortuary in the 1100 block of McCullough Avenue.
A funeral Mass will be held Friday at 1 p.m. at Community Bible Church at 2477 North Loop 1604 East.
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