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

By Josh Skurnik - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Firefighter Scott Deem's job was to save lives each and every day, and an hour before the four-alarm fire that took his life, he was helping save the life of Desiree Flores.

"He was very calm and maintained himself very well. He was very heroic," Flores said.

Along with her friend, Alyssa Griffin, Flores was watching her son's football practice when she was likely bitten by an ant.

"I noticed once I saw her face, that something wasn't right. Like, 'We need to go now,'" Griffin said.

The closest place for help was Station 35, a station that is now grieving the loss of their fellow firefighter.

When they walked in around 8 p.m. during the firefighters' dinner, Flores said the crew didn't hesitate to help.

"They picked up my shirt from the back, and they're like, 'You are completely covered in hives, like, extremely bad,'" Flores said.

Six-year San Antonio Fire Department veteran Deem was tasked with giving Flores oxygen. A complete professional, she said she remembers the 31-year-old's humor.

"He was talking to us, joking around, you know, just trying to keep everybody in a good mood and trying to keep me calm and relaxed," Flores said.

Griffin said the first responders told her that her friend might not have made it if they went to an emergency room further away.

The women learned of Deem's death early Friday morning. Both military wives and mothers, they said the sacrifice of the father of two, who was expecting a third child, has left a deep impact.

"For him, being there and doing his daily job that he loved, the job, you know, was his life, and he gave his life for," Flores said.

Both Griffin and Flores urge the community to give back through donations and memorials. The San Antonio Fire Department is asking people to leave memorials and flowers at Public Safety Headquarters.

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