Coverage from Firegeezer.com, Firefighter Nation & Firefighter Close Calls
Bryan Fire Department website & Facebook page
KBTX-TV now reports a second firefighter has died following last night’s fire in Bryan, Texas:
A spokeswoman from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston has confirmed that a second Bryan firefighter died from his injuries.
UTMB says 54-year-old Lt. Greg Pickard died this afternoon. He was a 32-year veteran with the Bryan Fire Department.
Two others are still in the hospital after receiving severe injuries after a fire near Downtown Bryan.
Lt. Gregory Pickard (left) and Lt. Eric Wallace, Bryan Fire Department.
54-year-old Lieutenant Gregory Pickard (32 years on the job) and 36-year-old Lieutenant Eric Wallace (13 years) have both lost their lives in what we have been told was an attempt to save other Firefighters. 30-year-old FF Ricky Mantey Jr. and 21-year-old FF Mitchel Moran remain in the hospital in stable condition. At some point Lt. Wallace’s team went into the structure, but was ordered to evacuate. Wallace didn’t come out and he called for help, saying he was low on air. Firefighters found Wallace, a 13-year veteran, inside and early reports indicated Wallace became trapped when a portion of the roof reportedly collapsed.
FUNERAL DETAILS FOR LT. WALLACE:
Funeral arrangements for Lt. Eric Wallace have just been set as follows. The funeral will be Thursday, Feb. 21, at 10:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Bryan. The funeral procession will immediately follow the funeral service with burial at the Hillcrest Cemetery in Marlin, Texas. Visitation will be Wednesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Adams Funeral Home in Marlin. Much more to follow.
The body of Lt. Eric Wallace of the Bryan (TX) Fire Department has been escorted to Hillier Funeral Home (see image and video link below). Lt. Wallace died inside the Knights of Columbus Hall on Groesbeck Drive during a fire reported shortly after 11:00 Friday night. Three firefighters who made up the Rapid Intervention Team were burned as they tried to rescue Lt. Wallace. They are Lt. Greg Pickard, 54; Firefighter Ricky Mantey Jr., 30; and Probationary Firefighter Mitch Moran, 21. Here is an update from KBTX-TV:
According to KHOU 11 News reporter Malini Basu at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, a burn unit doctor says the firefighters being treated at their facility may be hospitalized for more than a month due to their injuries.
A relief account has been set up for donations the fallen and injured firefighters’ families. It’s at Wells Fargo under the Benefit Donation account for the Bryan Fire Department.
Wells Fargo Bank, Main Branch 3000 Briarcrest Bryan, Tx 77802
Attn: Bryan Firefighter Fund
The body of Lt. Wallace arrives at funeral home. Click here for video from KBTX.
Firefighters from Bryan and nearby College Station were called to the KC Hall at about 11:20 p.m. Friday. Stratta said Wallace’s team went into the structure, but was ordered to evacuate.
Wallace didn’t come out and called for help, saying he was low on air. She said rapid response units found Wallace, a 13-year veteran, inside. An early report indicated Wallace became trapped when a portion of the roof reportedly collapsed.
According to the fire department, Wallace and another firefighter went into the building and reported they were short on air. The other firefighter escaped, but the lieutenant stayed inside.
At that point, a Rapid Intervention Team was sent into the building to help the lieutenant. The team is a group of firefighters kept on standby for the sole purpose of rescuing responders in trouble.
Bryan Fire Chief Randy McGregor said in a 6 a.m. press conference that the State Fire Marshal’s Office will investigate. No activities were reported at the building when the fire was reported to 9-1-1.
“There are no words to express our grief at the loss of Eric and our concern for Greg, Ricky and Mitch, and their families,” McGregor said. “These four courageous individuals represent the best of the profession and are true heroes in every sense of the word. “
Wallace was a 13-year veteran of the department. He is survived by his wife, Brandi, and five children. Pickard served with the department for 32 years. Mantey had been with the department for five years, and Moran for 10 months.
In June 2012, a fundraiser was held to help the Wallace family after the couple’s youngest child was born prematurely.
In 2010, the 100 Club honored Wallace for bravery.
He was off-duty, driving home from a shift in 2009 when he saw a house on fire.
When he found out the homeowner was still inside, he ran into the burning building.
The homeowner was too weak to get out on his own, but Wallace pulled him to safety.