Preparedness & Recovery

One Firefighter Killed, Two Injured in San Antonio Shopping Center Blaze

'It was a very rough decision to leave a firefighter behind. That’s not what we do but we had the risk of losing an additional 15 to 20 firefighters if we did not go on the defensive.'

by Azia Branson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram / May 19, 2017
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(TNS) - The San Antonio Fire Department chief is asking for prayers after one firefighter was killed and two were injured while battling a blaze late Thursday.

Scott Deem, a six-year veteran with the department, died on scene of the fire at the Ingram Park shopping center in the 6800 block of Northwest Loop 410. More than 60 units responded to the blaze just after 9 p.m., said Chief Charles Hood at a press conference on scene that was recorded by KENS 5-TV on Facebook Live.

“It was a very rough decision to leave a firefighter behind. That’s not what we do but we had the risk of losing an additional 15 to 20 firefighters if we did not go on the defensive,” Hood said.

Two other firefighters were taken to nearby hospitals and are expected to survive.

Firefighters initially entered the building as a search and rescue because they did not know if people were stuck inside but when conditions worsened inside, Deem was unable to escape, Hood said at the press conference.

“We had firefighters who fought fire desperately tonight to try to save their friend’s life,” Hood said while fighting back tears.

The firefighters lined up on each side of the ambulance carrying Deem’s body and saluted they left the scene, KENS 5-TV reported.

“I’d like to ask the citizens of San Antonio to give us your prayers tonight, because we’re hurting,” said Hood. “But we’re gonna continue to do the good job we always do.”

Azia Branson: 817-390-7547, @aziabranson

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