San Antonio Firefighter Killed in Fire

Firefighters later stood by saluting an ambulance.

San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood says because the shopping center had a gym and because of the time of day they conducted a search hand rescue. "But we had the risk of losing an additional 15 or 20 firefighters if we did not go defensive on the fire". The second firefighter, who was part of the rescue team, was taken to University Hospital in Priority 2 condition. 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.

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

One of them was taken to San Antonio Military Medical Center in critical condition.

"In the days to come, we ask that all Texans join us in sending their well wishes to those injured in this incident for a full and speedy recovery, and in keeping everyone affected by this fire in their thoughts and prayers".

"We're disappointed we did not get him out, but I could not be happier or prouder of the efforts to give him every chance of survival, and we did that last night", Hood said as he choked up with emotion.

"It was decided the conditions inside the structure were too risky to continue search operations, all rescue operations ceased", said Hood.

Hood did not say exactly what led to Deem's death. "They'll be going home for the reminder of the night to a loved one", Hood said. Chief Hood said he will be walking each of the almost 2,000 firefighters in the department through the scene.

Hood said more information will be released at a press conference Friday morning.

"Deem, a six-year veteran, reportedly entered the blaze searching for people to evacuate". Three other firefighter were injured.

  • Larry Hoffman