SAFD employees to tour charred building where firefighter died, 2 others injured

Chief Charles Hood says tour will provide closure, learning opportunities

By David Ibanez - Web - Managing Editor

SAN ANTONIO - Firefighters and civilian employees of the San Antonio Fire Department will tour Ingram Park Square, the building where a four-alarm blaze killed one firefighter and injured two others, Fire Chief Charles Hood said Tuesday at a news conference.

Hood said the walk through the building by 2,000 SAFD employees will help provide closure and learning opportunities for his department, which he said is still recovering from the May 18 blaze that claimed the life of Scott Deem and left Brad Phipps and Robert Vasquez injured.

Related: Images show aftermath at Ingram Square 1 month after fatal 4-alarm fire

"To have an opportunity to walk through this building before it's torn down, it's priceless for us to have this opportunity," Hood said. "It's a chance for us to walk through this building in a state that the members can see exactly what something like this looks like."

Hood said the walkthroughs will happen in the next week or so and will include a tour of the gym and a computer store that suffered the most damage. He said before and after pictures of the building will be placed on easels throughout the buildings.

Related: Fundraiser for fallen, injured firefighters raises over $135,000

No one will be allowed to take pictures inside the building, Hood said.

"The main thing to understand is that this job is extremely dangerous. We take risks every day. But the job became real in a way that none of us have ever seen in this generation. We have to continue to capture that realism," he said.

Hood said that the investigation is ongoing and gave no timetable when the probe would be concluded. He said when the report is complete, Deem's widow and Phipps' wife will be the among the first to review the findings.

Related: In the wake of Scott Deem tragedy, Fire Station 35 gives thanks to San Antonio

A cause of death for Deem has not been released, he said.

Hood said Phipps remains in critical but stable condition and his breathing tube was removed recently.

He visited with Phipps two days ago.

"I was able to walk in and tell him that I was very proud of him. We were able to share some communication that was very uplifting for us. Uplifting for our staff, and should be uplifting for the community in that he is improving," Hood said.

Hood said he and Phipps didn't talk about the fire and asked for continued prayers for Phipps, his family, the Deem family and the Fire Department. 

Related: SAFD Chief Hood: 'We had our worst day'

Related: Flags fly at half-staff in honor of SA firefighter

Related: Firefighter lost in four-alarm fire identified

Related: Ingram Square Shopping Center Fire Facts

Related: Community expresses sympathy after SA firefighter's death

Related: 20 firefighters who gave their lives to protect San Antonio

Related: Monetary donations being accepted for fire victims, families

Related: Officials release statements on death SA firefighter

Related: 100 Club of San Antonio mobilizing to help fallen firefighter's family

Related: Small memorial placed at Public Safety Headquarters for fallen firefighter

Related: Woman saved by fallen firefighter an hour before he died in fire

Related: SAFD announces funeral service dates for fallen firefighter Scott Deem

Related: Friends, family of fallen firefighter Scott Deem gather for candlelight vigil

Related: How to help fallen SAFD firefighter Scott Deem, others injured

Related: Crowds march to honor fallen SAFD firefighter Scott Deem

Related: SAFD Chief Hood: ‘We knew that Scott had perished'

Related: Memorial services announced for SA firefighter Scott Deem

Related: Firefighters from across the nation respond to Brotherhood call for fallen SAFD Scott Deem

Related: Public visitation for fallen firefighter Scott Deem to be held on Thursday

Related: SA firefighters march in honor of fallen comrade Scott Deem

Related: Loved ones, community members show love for fallen hero Scott Deem at visitation

Related: Community encouraged to wear red in memory of fallen firefighter

Related: Firefighter Brad Phipps remains in critical condition following Ingram Square fire

Related: In the wake of Scott Deem tragedy, Fire Station 35 gives thanks to San Antonio

Related: Local bands to honor fallen firefighter Scott Deem at Flag Day benefit show

Related: Fundraiser for fallen, injured firefighters raises over $135,000


Don't miss a thing. Get email alerts from KSAT12 today.
Get alerted to news events as they happen or sign up for a scheduled news headline email that is delivered right to your inbox. Breaking news, severe weather, daily forecasts, entertainment news, all of the day’s important events to keep you up to date wherever you are.

Sign up today. It's Free.



Copyright 2017 by KSAT - All rights reserved.