Two Texas fire lieutenants died yesterday of burns after battling a blazing fire at the Bryan, Texas Kights of Columbus.
A spokeswoman for the Central Texas city of Bryan Mary Lynne Stratta, confirmed the deaths of 54-year-old Greg Pickard and 36-year-old Eric Wallace. Stratta said Pickard died Saturday in a Galveston hospital and Wallace at the scene.
When interviewed by NBC News TV 5, Dallas, Stratta said the firefighters entered the burning Knights of Columbus hall in Bryan about midnight Friday, but didn't emerge when ordered to evacuate.
The fire started around 11 p.m. Friday at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Bryan, about 90 miles northwest of Houston. Firefighters were dispatched to the emergency and arrived at 11:24 p.m.
During their firefighting effort, Lieutenants Eric Wallace and Greg Pickard entered the building. Soon after, investigators said the two men radioed for assistance, saying they were low on air. At that point, both men were ordered to evacuate the building.
Tragic events such as this highlight the risks that firefighters face everyday. Despite their training, practices and equipment, any fire call can turn deadly. On Dec 24, four firefighters were shot and two killed in an ambush attack in Webster, NY.
In the Bryan fire, there was no explanation provided as to why the men could not evacuate when ordered or why Packard and Wallace waited until they were out of air before radioing for assistance.
The Texas State Fire Marshal's office is investigating the cause of the fire.
City officials say there was no event occurring at the hall at the time.
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