June 28, 2017

1 firefighter killed, 2 seriously hurt in San Antonio fire

20 May 2017, 08:55 | Darin Griffith

1 firefighter killed, 2 seriously hurt in San Antonio fire

1 firefighter killed, 2 seriously hurt in San Antonio fire

A San Antonio firefighter was killed Thursday night, battling a four-alarm fire.

Fire crews responded to the blaze in the 6700 block of Ingram Road about 9:12 p.m.

San Antonio Fire Department Chief Charles Hood said crews initially entered the shopping center to battle the blaze but were forced to evacuate after parts of the building started to collapse from the intense flames. Two other firefighters were sent to the hospital with injuries, but Hood said they were expected to be fine.

Since firefighters had to take a "defensive" approach in fighting the flames, fire officials say they had to make the hard decision to leave Deem behind.

One of the injured firefighters, Brad Phipps is in critical, but stable, condition.

He said the firefighter who was released from the hospital had fought with paramedics at the scene because he wanted to go back and search for Deem, Fox 29 San Antonio reported.

"I'd like to ask the citizens of San Antonio to give us your prayers tonight, because we're hurting".

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"Unfortunately, we had one of our worst days", Chief Hood said.

Deem joined the San Antonio fire department on January 3, 2011, said Chief Hood.

So far, officials have not said what led to Deem's death. He said they don't ever want to leave a firefighter behind, but they would have lost 15 or 20 more firefighters had they stayed inside.

"At the time, we were going to do anything humanly possible to go in and find our two brothers", Hood said.

It wasn't immediately clear what caused the fire and Chief Hood said the department will continue to investigate the scene.

Councilman Ron Nirenberg (D8), who will face Taylor in the June 10 runoff election, also was at the news conference Friday morning. Three other firefighter were injured.

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