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Two Firefighters Die In Lodge Fire, Two Others Injured

Firefighters Die In Lodge Fire

Bryan, TX — Two firefighters died in a lodge fire in Texas, while two others were injured battling the blaze.

The two lieutenants died after suffering from burns sustained during the fire. City spokeswoman Mary Lynne Stratta stated that their names were Gregory Pickard and Eric Wallace.

The two were among a group of firefighters who responded to the blaze Friday night. They entered the burning lodge hall, but they didn’t come out when they were ordered to evacuate, reports ABC News.

Stratta said of Wallace, 36, who died at the scene, “He called for help, said he was low on air.” Pickard and two other firefighters, Rickey Mantey Jr. and Mitchel Moran, were sent in to help Wallace. But the lodge’s roof collapsed in flames.

Rapid response units were able to recover the men from the scene. Wallace died at the scene, while Pickard, 54, passed away at a hospital in Galveston on Saturday. Mantey, 30, and Moran, 21, were also injured, though they are in stable condition.

Yahoo! News notes that the cause of the lodge fire that killed the two firefighters is under investigation. There was nothing being held at the hall at the time of the fire. Fire Chief Randy McGregor spoke about the four firefighters, saying:

“These four courageous individuals represent the best of the procession and are true heroes in every sense of the word.”

Wallace was a 13-year veteran of the Bryan Fire Department, while Pickard was a 32-year veteran. Funeral services for Wallace will take place on Thursday in Bryan. Services for Pickard are still pending.

[Image via ShutterStock]

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28 Responses to “Two Firefighters Die In Lodge Fire, Two Others Injured”

  1. William Lower

    Going INTO a burning building unless to save life , it, s not smart or heroick and not going to happen. Is a building worth a life? not in my book , let it burn. We see this happen all to often. When I was told to enter the building to fight the fire ya know what my reply was *%$#@*%^ nuts?

  2. Arthur Raynor

    Sad that it happened. As a 30 yr retired firefighter/EMT from Bermuda, for major building fires, we always used the UK/British Entry Control utilizing names tallies & guide lines. A 2 or 4 man team's names, entrance location, amount of air in the breathing apparatus, search/firefighting locations and exit time is marked on a white board by a control officer. With the use of a main guide line that the first team takes in (one end is attached outside of the building) all firefighters are clip to the guide line with personal lines. When the exit time is reached and the team has not returned, then a rescue team (on standby) is sent in. With the use of a guide line that the first team takes in, they can find the lost or injured person quicker.

  3. Nancy Valentine-Gibbs

    A human life is worth more than any burning building. If it is determined there is no one in the building, why do firefighters still go in. Was the roof determined to be stable? It is so very sad that these men gave their lives to save a building. We see too much of this in the news. There also seems to be this "heroic" theme out there where people expect firefighters just to run in and save their building regardless of the risk. These men are humans who have children and families and friends. Chiefs need to evaluate what's more important, a great write-up in the newspaper or saving their men.

  4. Homer Redding

    I never get these stupid deaths… why bother going inside if noone is in there? let the damned building burn.. a building isn't worth anyones life…

  5. Jordan LittleBull

    we don't know the whole story, maybe they received a report that there was someone in the building, which was determined afterward that no one was in there, we simply don't know all the facts, my prayers go to their families today.

  6. Shelley Clements

    I love and respect our firefighters. They put their lives in danger every time they go out to a fire. Please pray and support the injured firefighters and their families and the families of the two deceased heroes. Why is it a firefighter runs to a fire? because they are true heroes!

  7. Shelley Clements

    @Catherine Ann Joy…..What a beautiful prayer, I hope the thousands who read your post have tears in their eyes as I do and send out the same prayer.

  8. Shelley Clements

    Homer…it does seem senseless sometimes to us….however, many times runaway teenagers or homeless will break into buildings for a warm place for the night. Maybe the fire department took this into consideration not knowing what caused the fire, thinking a person inside could have set a fire by accident.

  9. De Robinson

    They should not have been sent in or they should have been called oout earlier. My husband is a retired firefighter and there were some buildings they were sent into fight a fire that were empty and too out of control to fight from the insisde…………

  10. Stonys Blanket

    I hate to say it but "Politics over a person's life" is the new creed for the fire department. The firefighters died in vain so the Chief will have an excuse to hire more firefighters. The officers should be fired for sending them in an unoccupied metal building in the first place. Risk little to save little risk a lot to save a lot.
    Bless the families

  11. Gordon Wollesen

    Hey folks, we don't have ALL the details. They are coming. We can speculate, guess, make a SWAG or conjure up a story until H**L freezes over! I am a retired 34 year veteran of the Fire Service. I have had to watch a few Fire Fighter die in a building fire. They were killed because of the building deteriorated faster than was expected. Quite often the building burned quite a while before it was discovered and reported (called a delayed alarm).

    May these two brave men rest in peace and their families walk with GOD.

  12. Christina Edmonds

    My deepest sympathy to to the families, friends, and fellow firefighters of these two men who gave the ultimate sacrifice. And to all firefighters…may the God of your choice walk by you and protect you as you do your brave job.

  13. Margie Fabrizio

    Are you even a Firefighter? If NOT then you don't know shit!! You do the job your told to do. Your motto is to save LIFE, then the structure…you don't just let it burn down to the f*****g ground if you can save some of it! And YEAH, I AM A FIREFIGHTER/EMT-B. Your NOT a Firefighter working at a teck job. THEY are heros in every sense of the word. I bet if your house was on fire you'd want them to not let it burn down to ground would'nt ya!! You'd want them to do everything damn thing they could to save it!! YOUR A JERK!!!

  14. Those against animal abuse

    @Stonys blanket. you don't s**t!! Shut your damn mouth!!! Your NOT a Firefighter or EMT nor were you there and don't know the 1st thing about the fire dept!!! Unless ANY of you were there shut your f*****g mouths.

  15. Christy Deaton-Duckwall

    My condolences to the firefighters, their families and their Fire Department families. They all suffered terrible losses. Firefighting is a dangerous and noble occupation. These guys were "seasoned" firefighters. They knew how to fight fires. Perhaps they became trapped with the building coming down around them and weren't able to come out when the call was made. There's so much to speculate about, but until the investigation is complete, please don't add to their grief by posting ridiculous innuendoes. You weren't there, nor are you the investigators. How 'bout leaving it up to the professionals. Remember, sometimes bad things happen to good people. May God bless them.

  16. Rick Wagner

    I hate to hear about this. It sux. Is a building worth a life? No. I don't know the circumstances so I won't pass judgement. However, firefighters will pile their ass up in a burning building any day to put it out even knowing there is no life to be saved. It is fun to us. That is what we do. Is it smart? Perhaps not. Is it heroic? No. Should the culture change? Yep. Like I said, it's all good until something like this happens for no apparent good reason as far as we know. Prayers going out to all the victims and their familes.

  17. Anonymous

    My condolences and prayers go out to the families of our fallen brothers in service. May God wrap his arms of Love and Grace around you at this time of loss.

  18. Anonymous

    William. If you told any fire officer what you claimed above. Many of us present day, and retired firefighters are sure glad…YOU aren't near us. Keep playing hero games with yourself on your WII, and let the real firefighters take care of FOOLS like you.
    Real Firefighters DO NOT NEED You.

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