**John
Benjamin “Red” Adams  

 
Born:  February 25, 1899, in Lola, Texas

Died:  March 7, 1948, at age 49

29TH HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  January 22, 1941

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Fire House No. 18

Buried:  Forest Park Cemetery, Lawndale, Section 24, Plot 345, Space 7

John Adams died of a heart attack at the scene of a house fire at 2840 Lidstone Street near Old Spanish Trail. His crew found him on the ground next to Engine 18. Having suffered a heart attack, attempts by the Harris County Emergency Corps to revive him were unsuccessful. A physician who lived in the neighborhood pronounced him deceased.


 

 **Steve Charlie Baranowski
 
Born:  July 9, 1907, in Chappell Hill, Texas

Died:  February 3, 1969, at age 61

46th HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  December 11, 1941

Assignment:  Captain-Fire House No. 37

Buried:  Forest Park Cemetery, Westheimer, Section 502, Plot 168, Space 2

Captain Baranowski, a 28 year veteran, died of a heart attack at the scene of a house fire at 3931 Underwood Street and Stella Link Road. Captain Baranowski and his crew were on the roof pulling off shingles when he became unconscious. His crew attempted to save him with a new life saving technique called “CPR”. He was transported to Methodist Hospital where he was pronounced on arrival.



Dwight  Wayne 
“Bebe” Bazile

Born:  June 14, 1958, in Houston, Texas

Died:  February 21, 2015, at age 56
69
th HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  October 24, 1977, Class 77A

Assignment:  Captain-Fire House No. 46 “D” Shift

Buried:  Brookside Memorial Park Cemetery, Section 52, Lot HE 8

Captain Bazile, a 37 year veteran, died after fighting a duplex fire at 6335 England Street at Cosby Street. He suffered a cardiac arrest and was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital where two days later he lost his fight for life.

Captain Bazile was a founding member of the Houston Black Fire Fighters’ Associatio
n.



Robert Ryan “Bobby” Bebee

Born:  January 14, 1972, in Corpus Christi, Texas

Died:  May 31, 2013, at age 41
66th HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  June 20, 2002, Class 7 2001

Assignment:  Engineer-Operator-Fire House No. 51 “A” Shift

Buried:  South Park Cemetery, Section A, Lot 29, Space 2

Bobby Bebee, died along with Matt Renaud, Robert Garner and Anne Sullivan while fighting a fire at the Southwest Inn, 6855 Southwest Freeway at Hornwood Drive. The fire started in the Bhojan Indian Restaurant, which was in the front of the motel complex. Just 15 minutes after crews arrived, the roof collapsed, trapping five firefighters. Before the rescuers were able to reach the firefighters, a second ceiling collapsed, trapping all of the rescuers. They were able to escape the collapse along with Captain Dowling, one of the five trapped firefighters.  

Bobby’s compassion and commitment to the community extended well beyond the fire service through his work helping homeless citizens and animals.



**George LaSalle Bishop

 
Born:  April 4, 1884, in Houston, Texas

Died:  March 1, 1926, at age 41
14
th HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  1916

Assignment:  Captain-Engine Company No. 4

Buried:  Forest Park Cemetery, Lawndale, Section J, Plot 128, Space 2

On Sunday, February 28, 1926, Captain Bishop’s crew responded to a two story vacant house fire at 2707 Grant Street near Westheimer Road. On arrival the structure was heavily involved. Captain Bishop led his crew up the rear outside staircase. Once they reached the second floor porch, the chimney collapsed and fell on to the porch. The impact ripped the porch away from the house, throwing the men to the ground. A large number of bricks and debris fell on Captain Bishop, severely injuring him.

 

Captain Bishop was transported to Jefferson Davis Hospital where he died at 7:20am the following morning.



**John Andrew “Bob” Boyd

 
Born:  November 3, 1870, in Galveston, Texas

Died:  August 4, 1923, at age 52
12
th HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  September 21, 1895

Assignment:  First Assistant Chief-Central Fire Station

Buried:  Holy Cross Cemetery, Section H, Plot 71, Space 6

John Boyd died when Chemical Truck 1 responded to a reported house fire at Schrimpf Alley (Where Clayton Homes, Runnels Street and East Drive, sits now). The apparatus was attempting to avoid a collision with a passenger car and struck a telephone pole at the intersection of Congress Street and Hamilton Street. Chief Boyd died instantly.

Chief Boyd began his career as a volunteer with Stonewall Hose Company No. 3 as one of the company’s paid drivers. He held this position from 1892 to 1895. In September 1895 he became one of the first paid Houston Firefighters.

He left the fire service in 1919 to serve as a trainman on the Southern Pacific Railroad. In May of 1923, Fire Chief Cornelius “Roxy” Ollre became angry with the current two Assistant Chiefs and demoted them. He contacted Bob Boyd and convinced him to return to his previously held rank of First Assistant Chief.


 

   Lemuel  Delray "DJ" Bruce
                                         
Born:  August 23, 1976, in Houston, Texas

Died:  October 16, 2020 at age 44
76
TH HFD LODD
Entered the Houston Fire Department:  April 1, 2004, Class 1 2003  
Assignment:  Investigator-Arson Division
Buried:  Klein Memorial Park, Magnolia, Texas, Section A, Lot 471, Space 2

DJ grew up in north Houston, was a dedicated Boy Scout, and graduated from Klein Oak High School in 1995. DJ then enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served honorably for five years and became one of the youngest Black Hawk helicopter crew chiefs in the history of the Corps. He later served in the Army National Guard.

Investigator Bruce was conducting surveillance during an arson investigation in the 2100 block of W. 18th Street around 0330 hours when he got into a confrontation with a suspect where they exchanged gunfire. The suspect died at the scene. About an hour later, Investigator Bruce shot three times, died from his injuries at Memorial Hermann Hospital. DJ’s squad was investigation a string of recent arsons in the area.

He is the Houston Fire Department's first Arson Investigator to die in the line of duty.


 

Grady Don Burke 
 
Born:  January 31, 1966, in Houston, Texas

Died:  February 19, 2005, at age 39
59
th HFD Line of Duty

Entered the Fire Department:  March 3, 1993, Class 93B

Assignment:  Captain-Fire House No. 46 “B” Shift

Buried:  Forest Park East Cemetery, Webster, Texas, Section 216B, Lot 4, Space 2

Captain Burke, a 12 year veteran, died while fighting a vacant house fire at 8510 Brandon Street near Bellfort Avenue. The vacant house was entered by a vagrant  who started a fire for heat and illumination while he was doing drugs. When the fire got out of control, he exited the house and boarded a Metro Bus. The roof collapsed almost immediately as Captain Burke and his crew entered the structure. Two crew members narrowly escaped through a window. Six firefighters were injured and transported to Hermann Hospital. The man that started the fire was   caught and pled guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

 

Before becoming a member of the Houston Fire Department, Grady was in the ranks of the Texas City Fire Department for four years.

In 2004 Grady was awarded the Unit Valor award along with his crew for saving an 80 year old woman from her burning apartment.



**Frank Catino

Born:  February 10, 1892, on a boat from Sicily, Italy

Died:  January 7, 1954, at age 61
37th HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  May 15, 1911

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Central Fire Station

Buried:  Forest Park Cemetery, Lawndale, Gethsemane 55, Plot 1232, Space 11

Frank was born Angelo Cortimeglia. When he joined the department at age 19, Fire Chief Reginald “Kid” Ollre decided that his name was too hard for anyone to pronounce, he changed his name to Frank Catino.


Frank, a 42 year veteran died while responding to an alarm transmitted by the fire alarm box at Gable Street and MKT Railroad. Ladder 1 collided with a passenger car at Preston Street and Crawford Street. The car was occupied by two 19 year old men who were being chased by the police, both died at the scene. Four members of the crew were sent to Jefferson Davis Hospital and were treated and released. Frank was transported to St. Joseph Hospital where he was pronounced on arrival.


On July 29, 1953 Frank was injured at the same intersection, while responding to an alarm from the same fire alarm box, Gable Street and MKT Railroad. This is where Joseph Solito and Fidel Chabolla died. The same building on the corner, the Southern Electric Supply Company at 1605 Preston Street was damaged in both accidents. The
“Houston Chronicle” dubbed it the “Death Corner”. 



Fidel Chabolla


Born:  April 24, 1918, in Moore, Texas

Died:  July 29, 1953, at age 35

35th HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  October 4, 1951

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Central Fire Station

Buried:  Forest Park Cemetery, Lawndale, Gethsemane 54, Plot 847, Space 5

Fidel Chabolla, died with Joe Solito, in a collision between Engine 8 and Ladder 1. The fire alarm box at Gable Street and MKT Railroad transmitted an alarm. Events led to the collision of these two apparatus at the intersection of Preston Street and Crawford Street. Engine 10 was the first due company; they were on another assignment and were replaced by Engine 8. Ladder 1 had trouble starting and was delayed leaving quarters. This put both trucks in the intersection at the same time. Seven firefighters were injured in the accident. Chabolla was transported to Jefferson Davis Hospital where efforts to save him failed.


Fidel had recently returned from a 3 month leave of absence.  He and his war-time bride visited her native France.

This is the same intersection where Frank Catino died five months later on January 7, 1954. The same building on the corner, the Southern Electric Supply Company at 1605 Preston Street was damaged in both accidents.  The “
Houston Chronicle” dubbed it the “Death Corner”.



Doyle Hubert "D.H."Chandler, Jr.
 


Born:  December 13, 1932, in Rusk, Texas

Died:  November 9, 1959, at age 26

42nd HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  July 1, 1958

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Fire House No. 19

Buried:  Lyles-Sanders Cemetery, Cushing, Texas, Plot 325

 D.H. and his crew responded to the Hess Terminal on Federal Road for a fire on board the “Amoco Virginia”. The 150,000-gallon tanker was in the process of loading a cargo of aviation fuel. A worker loading the ship did not realize there was a small hole in the hose leaking fuel into the water below. A lantern on a
passing tugboat ignited the fuel, causing an explosion and fire that took 16 hours and 500 firefighters to control. Seven men on the ship perished and 40 workers, including several  firefighters, were injured.

During the cleanup process, the mangled deck was coated with firefighting foam, Chandler fell through a large gaping hole in the deck and drowned in gasoline in the ship’s hold. He was a diver in the United States Navy but did not survive due to the lack of buoyancy of the gasoline. 



**Joseph
Earl “Bull” Connor


Born:  April 18, 1900, in Houston, Texas

Died:  January 31, 1951, at age 50

32nd HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  June 16, 1924

Assignment:  Driver-Central Fire Station

Buried:  Forest Park Cemetery, Lawndale, Gethsemane 55, Plot 257, Space 1

Joseph Connor, a 27 year veteran, suffered a heart attack while fighting a multiple alarm fire on January 31, 1951. Connor was driving Water Tower 1, and had finished getting the kinks out of the supply hoses when he fell against the apparatus.  He was transported to Jefferson Davis Hospital where he was pronounced on arrival.

 

The fire involved the Alaskan Fur Factory at 600 Main Street and Texas Avenue and two other business, the National Shirt Shop and Shaw’s Jewelry Store. All three businesses were heavily damaged.

 

This fire was especially difficult due to the freezing, icy weather which kept the smoke close to the ground.
 

The fire was also responsible for the death of Captain Templet.



Doninic Joseph “Don” Contorno
 

Born:  March 12, 1911, in Houston, Texas

Died:  May 21, 1962, at age 51

44th HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  December 16, 1941

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Fire House No. 37

Buried:  Forest Park Cemetery, Lawndale, Gethsemane 55, Plot 1099, Space 4

Don Contorno, a 21 year veteran, died after suffering a heart attack while fighting a two alarm fire at the Wanda Petroleum Company on Almeda Genoa Road. He was transported to St. Joseph Hospital where he died 19 days later.



**Thomas Norwood "Tom" Cooper

 
Born:  February 17, 1959, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Died:  September 23, 1982, at age 23

51st HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  February 8, 1982, Class 82A

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Fire House No. 1 “C” Shift
Buried:  Memorial Oaks Cemetery, Section 2, Plot 69, Space

Thomas Cooper was critically injured after falling off the tailboard of Engine 1 while responding to a trash fire. Cooper was training with his crew on different types hose lays when they were dispatched. The rolled hoses used in the drill were placed on the tailboard where he was riding. As Engine 1 turned the corner at Hamilton Street and Congress Avenue, one of the rolled hoses fell off the back of the apparatus. Tom fell off the tailboard while trying to stop the falling hose and hit his head on the curb. The driver and captain did not know he had fallen. A city electrician saw the accident and stopped to help and report the accident. Ambulance 1101 transported him to Hermann Hospital where he died two days later.



Harold Albert Denny

Born:  September 6, 1905, in Houston, Texas

Died:  May 1, 1924, at age 18
13
th HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  1924

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Fire House No. 9

Buried:  Washington Cemetery (Glenwood Cemetery), Section D, Lot 44, Space 4

Harold Denny, very new to the department, died when Engine 9 collided with a streetcar while responding to a fire at the Blue Front Boarding House located at  404½ Milam Street and Preston Street. At the time of the alarm, Harold was not on duty but was bringing bed sheets to his brother-in-law, John S. Little Sr. who was the Captain at Fire House No. 9. When the fire call came in, he responded with the crew. The driver of Engine 9 used the North Main Via Duct and as they exited the north end, a street car hit them, Denny died instantly, one crew member was injured.

 

Harold’s brother-in-law died in the Line of Duty 5 years after his death. Captain Little died on July 11, 1929.



**Thomas William "Bill" Dillion

 Born:  March 25, 1962, in Houston, Texas

Died:  March 14, 2012, at age 49
63rd HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  June 5, 1989, Class 89C

Assignment:  Senior Captain-Fire House No. 69 “B” Shift

Buried:  Memorial Oaks Cemetery, Morning Tide, Section 303, Lot 16, Space 5

Senior Captain Dillion, a 23 year veteran, suffered a heart attack at a fire in the  Jadestone Apartments, 7520 Cook Road near Winding Passage Street. After the fire was under control, he began experiencing chest pains and collapsed.  Firefighters performed CPR and he was transported to West Houston Medical Center where efforts to revive him failed. At the time of the incident he was working at Fire House 76.

 


Harry Dodd


Born:  November 17, 1883, in Kinney, Texas

Died:  July 26, 1923, at age 39
11
th HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  January 1, 1921

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Central Fire Station
Buried:  Hempstead Cemetery, Hempstead, Texas, Located in the Dodd Family Plot

Harry Dodd died when Hook and Ladder 1 responded to a house fire at 1315 Shaw Street and Andrews Street. The fire apparatus was involved in an accident at the intersection of Dallas Street and Milam Street. A doctor, who was rushing to take care of a patient, entered the intersection at the same time as Hook and Ladder 1. The two vehicles hit with such force that the ladder truck was pushed into the Chapman Street Trolley that was stopped waiting for the fire truck to clear the intersection. Several his crew members and four civilians were injured in the collision. Harry died at the scene.   


 

Vernon John Dorsett


Born:  November 15, 1902, in Nacogdoches, Texas

Died:  January 21, 1949, at age 46

30th HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  December 5, 1919

Assignment:  Assistant Chief-Central Fire Station

Buried:  Rosewood Cemetery, Section 20, Plot 81, Space 6

Chief Vernon Dorsett, a 30 year veteran, died when his chief’s car collided with a passenger vehicle after being dispatched to a fire at the Hub Lumber Company, 5519 Lawndale Street and Hub Street. His car slid on wet pavement at the intersection of Harrisburg Boulevard at Linwood Street. The chief’s car collided with a passenger car carrying a mother, her 18 month old son and her 12 year old daughter, on their way to school. All three received minor cuts and bruises. Chief Dorsett died instantly. Chief Dorsett’s driver, Captain Walter Dudensing, was seriously injured.

Chief Dorsett’s daughter, Barbara was due to be married in Freeport that evening. Vernon was planning to get off duty early to drive her to her wedding. Barbara and her fiancé were married a two weeks later.                             



William  Ross “Iron Bill”Dowling


Born:  March 14, 1973, in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Died:  March 7, 2017, at age 43
71
st HFD LODD
Entered the Houston Fire Department:  March 21, 2000, Class 1 2000

Assignment:  Captain-Fire House No. 68 “A” Shift
Buried:  Wellborn Cemetery, College Station, Texas, Plot DD 54

Bill Dowling was a man of courage and service to others. He graduated in 1993 from Klein Oak High School. Soon after, he joined the United States Marine Corps, only after convincing his recruiter that he would succeed as a member.  When he fulfilled his commitment to the Corps, he continued his quest to serve others as a member of the Houston Fire Department. 


On May 31, 2013 Captain Dowling was seriously injured while leading his crew during the Southwest Inn Fire. The fire started in the Bhojan Indian Restaurant, which was in the front of the motel complex. During the fire, the roof collapsed, trapping him and four crew members. Captain Dowling was the only firefighter rescued from the collapsed building.

He was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital where he was treated for his injuries and fought to stay alive. During his fight for his life, he was given the nickname, “Iron Bill”, for his relentless efforts to heal and return home to his family. “Iron Bill” succumbed to his injuries almost four years later. Bill is survived by his soulmate Jacki, and his three children, Forrest, Faith and Foster.

 

Claud William Edmonds

Born:  September 25, 1894, in Scooba, Mississippi

Died:  August 19, 1926, at age 31
15
th HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  December 16, 1916

Assignment:  Captain-Central Fire Station

Buried:  Forest Park Cemetery, Lawndale, Section I, Plot 181, Space 2

Captain Edmonds, a ten year veteran, was training with his crew on Ladder 1, an 85 foot aerial. The exercise consisted of the crew climbing the ladder and descending the backside. As Captain Edmonds reached the top and was climbing over, the ladder began swaying from the wind and cracked below him and landed on the power lines for the trolley cars on Preston Street. Captain Edmonds, seriously injured, was taken to the St. Joseph Infirmary where he died a short time later.

Tom Powers, early into his career, was climbing the ladder just below Captain Edmonds. The ladder broke right above Tom, and he was not injured. He went on to serve the citizens of Houston for 50 years.
  



Woodrow Wilson Erwin
 

Born:  March 2, 1914, in Palestine, Texas

Died:  February 24, 1954, at age 39

38th HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  July 8, 1940

Assignment:  Chauffeur-Fire House No. 24

Buried:  Forest Park Cemetery, Lawndale, Section 31, Plot 518, Space 1

Woodrow Erwin died of a heart attack after fighting a house fire at 2705 Clay Street and Nagle Street. That day he was the Acting Captain, Engine 24 was dispatched to a fire that involved a small shack located in a junkyard. Immediately after the fire was extinguished, he complained of a sharp pain in his chest and asked to be taken to the hospital. On the way to Jefferson Davis Hospital, he asked the attendants to call his wife and have her meet him at the hospital. He died just minutes before his wife’s arrival.



Lonnie Lauzette Franklin

Born:  November 14, 1929, in Houston, Texas

Died:  January 4, 1983, at age 53

52nd HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  August 5, 1950

Assignment:  District Chief-Fire House No. 7 “B” Shift

Buried:  Resthaven Memorial Gardens Cemetery, Section 7, Plot 78, Space 4

Chief Franklin died while responding to a house fire in the 2800 block of Dowling Street near Drew Street. The District Chief’s car was struck broadside by a pickup truck which had ran the stop sign at the intersection of Elgin Street and Hutchins Street. Engine 7 and Ladder 7 were seconds behind. The engine crew stopped to render aid while the ladder truck proceeded to the fire. Lonnie was transported by Ambulance 25 to Hermann Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

The driver of the pick up truck was speeding because he was late for work.
He was found guilty of Negligent Homicide. 

The cause of the house fire was ruled arson.



**Robert   Herman “Bobby”Garner  IV

Born:  April 14, 1984, in Port Arthur, Texas

Died:  May 31, 2013, at age 29
65
th HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  October 18, 2010, Class 2010B

Assignment:  Firefighter-Fire House No. 68 “A” Shift

Buried:  Forest Park Cemetery, Westheimer, Section 500, Lot 64, Space 10

Robert Garner, died along with Matt Renaud, Bobby Bebee and Anne Sullivan while fighting a fire at the Southwest Inn, 6855 Southwest Freeway at Hornwood Drive. The fire started in the Bhojan Indian Restaurant, which was in the front of the motel complex. Just 15 minutes after crews arrived, the roof collapsed, trapping five firefighters. Before the rescuers were able to reach the firefighters, a second ceiling collapsed, trapping all of the rescuers. They were able to escape the collapse along with Captain Dowling, one of the five trapped firefighters.


Before becoming a proud member of the Houston Fire Department, Robert served in the United States Air Force for six years as a SRA (Senior Airman). He completed two tours of duty in Iraq.
  



**Horace Oscar Gassoway

Born:  July 18, 1904, in Winnsboro, Texas

Died:  August 6, 1941, at age 37

27TH HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  September 1928

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Fire House No. 10

Buried:  Hollywood Cemetery, Section J, Plot 31, Space 1

The day that Horace Gassoway died, he was working at the Central Fire Station, assigned to Service Truck 1. His regular assignment was Fire House No. 10. The crew was dispatched to a fire in the Weingarten’s Grocery Store on Washington Avenue and Preston Street. They were involved in a collision with Engine 2, also dispatched to the same fire. The two fire trucks entered the intersection of Smith Street and Preston Street at the same time. Four firefighters were injured, Horace died at the scene. 



Robert Rutherford Glass

Born:  September 14, 1882, in Houston, Texas

Died:  December 1, 1913, at age 31
9
th HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  1902

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Central Fire Station
Buried:  Evergreen Cemetery, Section B2, Plot 21, Space 3

Robert Glass was assigned to Auto Service Truck 1. He died while responding to a house fire in the 5th Ward. When the apparatus exited the Central Fire Station, the truck collided with Car 119 of the Galveston-Houston Electric Railway Company. Car 119 was returning to its roundhouse nearby the Central Fire Station. Glass was transported to St. Joseph Infirmary with two of his crew members. He succumbed to his injuries the next morning, the two crew members survived.

 

Robert was the Vice President of the “City Fireman’s Union No. 9629”, which was the first Houston fireman union organized on March 5, 1902. He held that office from 1906 to 1908. The union was disbanded after Fire Chief O’Leary died in 1908 and the new Fire Chief, Reginald “Kid” Ollre took office. Chief Ollre was never in favor of a union. 



Edgar Henry Grant Jr.

Born:  March 20, 1902, in Houston, Texas
Died:  July 2, 1929, at age 27
18
th HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  February 18, 1928
Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Fire House No. 18
Buried:  Forest Park Cemetery, Lawndale, Section C, Plot 109, Space 7

Edgar Grant, a six month veteran, died along with Captain Little and Harry Oxford when Engine 18 was dispatched to a house fire at 2426 Wilshire Street at Telephone Road. The incident was after dark, the firefighters were distracted by a large glow in the sky from the house fire. As they approached the railroad crossing at Telephone Road near Lombardy Street, they did not see a Gulf Coast Line Railway locomotive pulling 53 cars entering the crossing at the same time. Engine 18 was broadsided, Grant died at the scene and two members of the crew were injured.




Daniel David "Danny" Groover

Born:  December 15, 1967, in Jacinto City, Texas

Died:  July 9, 2014, at age 46
68
th HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  February 15, 1993, Class 93B

Assignment:  Firefighter-Fire House No. 104 “C” Shift

Buried:  Houston National Cemetery, Section G4, Site 1145

Daniel Groover died while fighting a house fire at 1510 Mistletoe Lane near Redbud Lane in Houston’s Kingwood area. Inside the structure, he became separated from his crew and was found in cardiac arrest. He was transported to Kingwood Medical Center where he later died.

 

Daniel served five years in the United States Army as a medic. He had been a paramedic for the Houston Fire Department from April 9, 1997 to June 21, 2012. He was widely known for his compassion toward others that reached well beyond the Fire Department.



 

James Arthur Harlow Sr.


Born:  May 18, 1958, in Beeville, Texas

Died:  April 12, 2009-Easter Sunday, at age 50
61
st HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  December 27, 1979, Class 79D

Assignment:  Captain-Fire House No. 26 “B” Shift

Buried:  Grandview Memorial Park Cemetery, Garden of Prayer, Lot 584, Space 2

Captain Harlow, a 30 year veteran, died with his “Rookie” Firefighter Damion Hobbs in a house fire at 7811 Oak Vista near Poplar Street on Easter morning. Captain Harlow entered the structure with his crew to search for the occupants of the home. Wind driven fire conditions produced a rapid fire growth that forced Harlow and Hobbs to withdraw, they collapsed while attempting to exit. They both were quickly found, however efforts to resuscitate failed.

 

A devoted husband, father and grandfather, James was a respectable and approachable captain. He had an open door policy and his crew members were always comfortable approaching him. He was a perpetual optimist. He always said in an East Texas accent, “Everything is going to be alright”. At his memorial service, his family was presented the Houston Fire Department’s Medal of Honor, posthumously.

 

 

 

**H. A. “Ace” Harris

 
Born:  October 24, 1873, in Calvert, Texas

Died:  February 14, 1921-Valentine’s Day, at age 47

Entered the Fire Department:  November 1, 1920
10
th HFD LODD

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Fire Station No. 10

Buried:  Sunnyside Cemetery, Calvert, Texas, Left side from the front gate, four rows from the front fence.

Before Harris became a member of the Houston Fire Department, he was a member of the Dallas Fire Department for 12 years. When he moved to Houston, he painted houses until he was hired by HFD. He had been a member for about three months when Engine 10 responded to a fire at the Texas Lamp and Oil Company, 203 Baker and Cedar Street.

Because of the lack of water supply, the fire crews had to drag hose lines through a narrow alley to reach the burning building. Harris, along with the other crew members, entered the alley with two hose lines in order to gain access to the burning building. Meanwhile, another crew opened a door on the opposite end of the building. This created a back draft causing multiple barrels of denatured alcohol to explode, blowing out the wall bordering the alley, trapping Harris and seven other firefighters. Harris did not perish from the falling wall, the heavy lamp oil smoke suffocated him. 

 

Harris’ death was overlooked by the Houston Fire Department for 79 years until a scrapbook owned by Chief Grover Cleveland Adams was discovered with a Houston Press clipping dated February 15, 1921, verifying Harris’ line of duty death.



**Truxton Joseph Hathaway Jr.

Born:  January 9, 1940, in Houston, Texas

Died:  October 19, 1971, at age 31
48th HFD LODD

 Entered the Fire Department:  February 15, 1961

Assignment:  Fire Inspector-Fire Training Academy

Buried:  Forest Park Cemetery, Lawndale, Gethsemane 55, Plot 491, Space 8

Truxton Hathaway was a Fire Inspector temporarily assigned to the Fire Training Academy. When an 82 car Missouri Pacific Railroad train derailed near Mykawa Road, he went out to the scene to record the incident for future training.

Two tank cars containing vinyl chloride and butadiene, caught fire and exploded.  Forty minutes later a second blast occurred killing Truxton and injuring 27 firefighters, six members of the news media, one HPD officer, and two civilians. 


To this day, film footage recorded by the news media is used for training all around the country.



Rudolph Leon “Rudy” Hendricks

Born:  September 29, 1906, in Columbus, Texas

Died:  June 22, 1929, at age 22
17
th HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  January 4, 1928

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Fire House No. 25

Buried:  Rosewood Cemetery, Section I, Lot 112, Space 4

Rudy Hendricks, with less than two years in the department, died while operating a hose line at a house fire at 3552 Reeves Street at Scott Street. A power line burned through at the house and fell, electrocuting him. He was transported to Houston Methodist Hospital but died before arrival. He recently married his childhood sweetheart.



**Damion  Jon  Hobbs

Born:  December 24, 1978, in Galveston, Texas

Died:  April 12, 2009-Easter Sunday, at age 30
60
th HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  March 3, 2009, Class 2008C

Assignment:  Firefighter-Fire House No. 26 “B” Shift

Buried:  South Park Cemetery, Garden of Eternal Love, Lot 53, Space 5

Damion Hobbs died along with Captain Harlow in a house fire at 7811 Oak Vista near Poplar Street on Easter morning. Engine 26 entered the structure to search for the occupants of the home. Wind driven fire conditions produced a rapid fire growth that forced Harlow and Hobbs to withdraw, they collapsed while attempting to exit. They both were quickly found, however efforts to resuscitate failed.


Hobbs served two tours of duty in Iraq with the United States Army. He was at the Val Jahnke Training Facility as a member of Class 31 2004 when he was deployed the second time. Upon his return he became a member of Class 2008C and graduated March 3, 2009.



Claude Jackson Hopkins
 
Born:  January 20, 1932, in Bryan, Texas

Died:  June 30, 1962, at age 30

45th HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  November 1, 1956
Assignment:  Chauffeur-Fire House No. 2
Buried: 
Willowhole Cemetery, North Zulch, Texas, Section C, Space 359

On Friday, June 29, 1962, Ladder 2 responded to a sprinkler alarm at the Bayou Products Company, 1209 Commerce Street near San Jacinto Street. The apparatus hit a transport truck carrying grain at the intersection of Preston Street and Louisiana Street. Four firefighters were transported to Jefferson Davis Hospital. Claude, severely injured, died the next day.

The alarm was false, a vagrant attempted to get a drink from a drain valve of the sprinkler system which set off the alarm.



 

Jay Paul Jahnke

Born:  September 16, 1961, in Houston, Texas

Died:  October 13, 2001, at age 40
57
th HFD Line of Duty

Assignment:  Captain-Fire House No. 2 “B” Shift

Buried:  Memorial Oaks Cemetery, Section 212, Lot 138, Space 4D, Next to Claude, his Dad

At 0453 hours, Engine 2 responded to a report of a fire in the Four Leaf Towers, a high rise residential building at 5110 San Felipe Street and South Post Oak Lane. On arrival the firefighters received a report that the male occupant was still in the unit on the fifth floor. Upon entering the unit, they encountered moderate heat and heavy smoke, the fire had broken one of the windows. The initial search did not locate the resident, who was later found deceased. Two of the firefighters were running low on air and were sent to the stairwell. Captain Jahnke then decided that him and Senior Captain Robert Green from Ladder 28 should do the same. Upon exiting, the hose line did not clear the apartment’s self closing door, the door did not completely shut. Simultaneously, a cold front came through, the high winds pushed the smoke and fire out into the hall where the two captains were attempting to escape. Captain Jahnke became disoriented and followed the hose line in the direction of the fire. He transmitted a “Mayday” and was found a few minutes later. He was carried down and transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital where shortly after arrival he succumbed to his injuries.

Jay was a highly respected officer, who was part of the Houston Medical Strike Team‚ Swift Water Rescue‚ and HAZMAT Certified. He also served as the Chief Safety Officer with Cy-Creek Volunteer Fire Department
.  



**Charles Alphonse “Jed” Jedlicka 


Born:  September 27, 1922, in Cameron, Texas

Died:  November 17, 1959, at age 37

43rd HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  June 1, 1953

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Fire House No. 30

Buried:  Brookside Cemetery, Section 2, Plot 159, Space 1

Charles Jedlicka died after sustaining severe injuries in an accident that also claimed the life of Willis McWhorter and injured two other firefighters. Engine 30 was responding to a house fire on Airline Drive and Benbrook Street. The accident occurred at the intersection of Fulton Street and Berry Street as an approaching transport truck loaded with steel beams saw Engine 30, but was unable to stop due to its heavy load. The fire apparatus was broadsided, breaking it into several pieces.

Due to the severity of his injuries, he was transferred to Brooks Army Hospital at Fort Sam Houston, in San Antonio in a plane owned by a local oil company. Eleven days later he succumbed to his injuries.



**Clifford William Johnson


Born:  1878, in Houston, Texas

Died:  June 13, 1902, at age 24
3
rd HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  1899

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Central Fire Station

Buried:  Hollywood Cemetery, Mossy Dell, Plot 42, Space 6

Clifford Johnson, driver of the Fire Chief’s buggy died while responding to a fire at 1611 Franklin Street and Crawford Street. His assignment was to pick up Fire Chief “Jack” Arto at home to respond to the fire. He was traveling at a high rate of speed on Crawford Street, as he passed Washington No. 8, he ran into the rear of a slow moving buggy without taillights. The men at the fire house tried to warn the civilian driver, but were unsuccessful. Johnson was transported to St. Joseph  Infirmary where he died the next day.



**Cohnway Matthew Johnson

Born:  October 4, 1982, in Austin, Texas

Died:  May 4, 2009, at age 26
62
nd HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  April 20, 2009

Assignment:  Cadet-Val Jahnke Training Facility, Class 2009C

Buried:  Cook-Walden Capital Parks Cemetery, Pflugerville, Texas, Section H, Lot 1608, Space 3

Cohnway had known from a young age he wanted to be a firefighter. He was following in his Great Uncle’s footsteps, a Chief with Austin Fire Department.  Before being chosen to join the Houston Fire Department he served with two other departments, the Yoakum Fire Department and TCESD #3 (Oak Hill Fire Department, Austin, Texas). He was a part-time firefighter for TCESD #9 (Westlake Fire Department, Austin, Texas) and TCESD #12 (Manor Fire Department, Manor, Texas). 

 

On the morning of April 29, 2009, Cadet Johnson collapsed during physical training and was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Medical Center. Five days later he lost his battle for life due to complications of hyperthermia and dehydration.



**William Henry Kersten

 
Born:  November 6, 1914, in Houston, Texas

Died:  December 18, 1954, at age 40
40
th HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  December 11, 1941

Assignment:  Chauffeur-Fire House No. 19

Buried:  Woodland Gardens of Memories Cemetery, Section 56, Plot 116, Space 3D

William Kersten, the driver of District Chief 19 was dispatched to a house fire at 7306 Bonham Street and Harbor Street. When entering the intersection of Lockwood Drive and Lyons Avenue the chief’s car collided with a Houston Transit Company Bus. Kersten, his chief and three bus passengers were injured. Kersten was transported to Jefferson Davis Hospital where he did not survive his injuries.  

 

Kersten had five minutes left on his shift when the alarm was dispatched.



 

Kevin Wayne Kulow 


Born:  November 2, 1971, in Bellville, Texas

Died:  April 4, 2004-Palm Sunday, at age 32
58
th HFD Line of Duty

Entered the Fire Department:  September 15, 2003, Class 23

Assignment:  Firefighter-Fire House No. 50 “A” Shift

Buried:  Sealy Public Cemetery, Sealy, Texas, Section 17, Lot 423B, Space B

Kevin Kulow started his work day just like all “Rookies”, a bit early. He arrived at the fire house and took off the gear of the “B” Shift firefighter he was relieving. Soon after that, at 5:55 AM, Engine 50 was dispatched to 7610 Kempwood Drive near Wirt Road for a truck fire involving hazardous chemicals. However, upon arrival they discovered a fire in the El Festival Ballroom, an after hours night club.

 

Civilians at the location reported that they were not sure everyone got out of the building safely. While searching for victims the fire intensified, the crew was able to find their hose line and follow it to safety. While exiting the building they realized that Kevin did not get out with them. By that time the fire had burned through the ceiling and roof. Kevin was unable to do find his way out of the building.

 

During the investigation it was determined that the arsonist had thrown several full one gallon plastic gasoline containers on to the roof.

The fire, set because of a domestic dispute, was ruled arson. Three men and one woman were charged and convicted of the murder of Firefighter Kevin Kulow. The ring leader, Jeremy Robinson, a career criminal, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The other three received sentences ranging from 3 to 40 years. 



John Sellis Little Sr.

Born:  November 19, 1883, in Knoxville, Tennessee

Died:  July 11, 1929, at age 45

20th HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  June 4, 1913

Assignment:  Captain-Fire House No. 18

Buried:  Forest Park Cemetery, Lawndale, Section 27, Plot 59, Space 12

Captain Little, a 16 year veteran, died along with Harry Oxford and Edgar Grant when Engine 18 was dispatched to a house fire at 2426 Wilshire Street at Telephone Road. The incident was after dark, the firefighters were distracted by a large glow in the sky from the house fire. As they approached the railroad crossing at Telephone Road near Lombardy Street, they did not see a Gulf Coast Line Railway locomotive pulling 53 cars entering the crossing at the same time. Engine 18 was broadsided. Two members of the crew were injured in the accident.

 

Captain Little was transported to Memorial Baptist Hospital. After undergoing numerous surgeries in an effort to save him, he died nine days later.

Sadly, his family was leaving for a family vacation the next day.



**Ruben Lopez

Born:  October 12, 1957, in Victoria, Texas

Died:  December 4, 1996, at age 39

1st  Houston Volunteer Fire Department LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  1987

Assignment:  HVFD District Chief-Engine 25

Buried:  Forest Park Cemetery, Lawndale, Section 12, Lot 385, Space 11

Ruben Lopez, a member of the Houston Volunteer Fire Department, died fighting a house fire at 4006 Roseneath Drive near South MacGregor Way. Upon arrival, Chief Lopez and the crew of Engine 25 were informed that there were still victims in the home. A flashover occurred during the search. Chief Lopez perished along with the 41 year old female occupant of the home. She re-entered the home thinking her 12 year old daughter was still inside.

 

Prior to his death he had received the organization’s Firefighter of the Year twice.

Chief Lopez is the only line of duty death in the history of the Houston Volunteer Fire Department.



**James Edward “Jimmy” Lowth

Born:  June 26, 1923, in Houston, Texas

Died:  March 31, 1947, at age 22

28TH HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  January 1946

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Fire House No. 26

Buried:  Hollywood Cemetery, Section F, Plot 19, Space 2

James Lowth was seriously injured when Engine 26 was struck by a Port Terminal Railroad locomotive (steam powered) after being dispatched to a fire at the Eastern States Refinery. Two factors combined to cause this accident: The warning signal at the railroad crossing was not working, the engineer, seated on the opposite side of the locomotive, was unable to see Engine 26 attempting to cross the tracks. The accident occurred at 1000 Broadway Street at Lawndale Street.

Four of his crew members, Earl McWilliams, Wilson Snow, J. B. Martin, and Captain Mike Lathrop, all seriously injured, were transported to St. Joseph Hospital. Lowth was also transported to St. Joseph Hospital where he died from his injuries.

 

Jimmy survived WWII and just returned home from serving three years and five months in the United States Navy. He died his first night back on duty since his wedding and honeymoon in Galveston, two weeks prior.

 

       
Leroy Pena Lucio


Born:  June 5, 1958, in San Antonio, Texas

Died:  July 20, 2020 at age 62
73rd HFD LODD
Entered the Houston Fire Department:  December 10, 1990, Fast Track Class
Assignment:  Captain-Fire House No. 103 “D” Shift
Buried:  Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cemetery, 1255 Old Corpus Christi Road,
Far Left side of the cemetery

Captain Leroy Lucio, a 29 year veteran lost his life due to the COVID-19 Virus. He had been battling the virus in the ICU of Life Care Hospitals of San Antonio three weeks prior to his death. He is the first Houston Firefighter to die from COVID-19.  


Captain Lucio is the 60th COVID-19 related Firefighter Line of Duty Death for 2020, according to the statistics kept by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. On the day he died there were 49,123 new cases of COVID-19 according to the worldometers.info/coronavirus web site.



Jackie Dunham Ludwick

Born:  August 17, 1933, in Austin, Texas

Died:  February 4, 1977, at age 43

50TH HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  July 16, 1956
Assignment:  Senior Captain-Fire House No. 7 “B” Shift

Buried:  Woodlawn Cemetery, Section 8, Plot 154, Space 3A

Captain Ludwick was a well respected officer in the department. Months before his death he saved the lives of several firefighters at St. Joseph Hospital. Working to extinguish a deep seated fire in the laundry duct system, Captain Ludwick knew something was wrong and began ordering firefighters out of the vent system when a flashover occurred. Several firefighters were injured, but his actions saved their lives.
 

Jackie Ludwick, a 21 year veteran, suffered a fatal heart attack while fighting a fire at 3700 Wheeler Avenue near Scott Street. He was transported to Hermann Hospital where efforts to save him failed. 

 

Steven Clyde "Steve" Mayfield

Born:  October 5, 1951, in Pasadena, Texas

Died:  December 2, 1998, at age 47
54
th HFD Line of Duty

Entered the Fire Department:  March 31, 1975, Class 75A

Assignment:  Firefighter-Crash Rescue Station No. 92 “B” Shift

Buried:  Resthaven Cemetery, Section 7, Lot 587, Space 12

Steven Mayfield, a 23 year veteran, died from a heart attack while participating in a live burn at the DFW Airport in Dallas, Texas. The burn was a part of the annual recertification process required of all Airport Rescue Firefighters (ARF).

 

Mayfield, a certified Airport Rescue Firefighter (ARF) for eight years, had previously spent 12 years as a Paramedic. He was assigned as a paramedic on Medic 92, which makes calls at the terminals at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.



Lewis Evan Mayo III

 

Born:  December 13, 1955, in Cocoa, Florida

Died:  February 14, 2000-Valentine’s Day, at age 44
56
th HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  June 29, 1981, Class 81C

Assignment:  Firefighter-Fire House No. 76 “A” Shift

Buried:  Memorial Oaks Cemetery, Section 219, Lot 8, Space 2

Lewis Mayo died with his crew member Kim Smith. At 0433 hours Engine 76 responded to a fire in a McDonald’s Restaurant, 12602 Bissonnet Street and Dairy View Lane, less than a mile from their quarters. Upon arrival, Engine 76 reported that fire was coming from the roof of the restaurant. The crew of Engine 76 entered the building and attempted to get the hose line to the back of the restaurant. The section of the roof that contained the air condition units collapsed, trapping and injuring Lewis. Kim, also trapped, was able to free herself and head toward the back door of the building. Lewis was rescued and transported to Hermann Hospital where efforts to save him failed.

Kim was found deceased six feet from the back door. The fire was arson, started by four males attempting to break into the office safe. When they were unable to open the safe, they set the office on fire. All four men were convicted of multiple crimes with sentences ranging from 2 to 35 years.
  



 

**Willis Neal “Bardoil” McWhorter

Born:  April 17, 1927, in Madisonville, Texas

Died:  November 6, 1959, at age 32

41st HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  June 1, 1953

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Fire House No. 30

Buried:  Resthaven Memorial Gardens Cemetery, Plot 72, Space 1

Willis McWhorter died in an accident that claimed the life of his fellow crew member, Charles Jedlicka and injured two firefighters. McWhorter died at the scene. Engine 30 was responding to a house fire on Airline Drive and Benbrook Street. The accident occurred at the intersection of Fulton Street and Berry Street. An approaching transport truck, carrying steel beams saw Engine 30, but was unable to stop due to its heavy load. The fire apparatus was broadsided, breaking it into several pieces.

 


Frank William Medlenka


Born:  June 15, 1859, in Louisville, Kentucky

Died:  November 23, 1901, at age 42
2
nd HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  September 21, 1895

Assignment:  Driver-Washington No. 8

Buried:  Glenwood Cemetery, Old Strangers Rest, Space 320

Frank, the driver of horse-drawn Steamer 8, was responding to call received from Fire Alarm Box 315 at the corner of McKinney Street and Chartres Street. The fire apparatuses crossed street car tracks at the intersection of McKinney Street and Jackson Street where new tracks were under construction. Hose Wagon 8, leading the way, displaced planks covering the site causing Steamer 8 to overturn. Frank was crushed under the overturned steamer and was taken to St. Joseph Infirmary where he died later that night.


Frank entered the Houston Fire Department at age 36. His father owned one of the local newspapers, the
Herald, which later became the Houston Chronicle, where Frank worked as a pressman. He developed an allergy to the ink; his condition was called “The Printer’s Disease”. His doctor advised him, for his health, to change professions, which he did.

 

Frank was a member of the Volunteer Protection Hose Company No. 1 from 1883 to 1887 as the First Assistant. In September 1895 he became one of the first paid Houston Firefighters.

 

Frank’s name was never listed on the HFD’s line of duty roster. His great nephew, Ralph Stenzel Sr., discovered the 84 year old oversight. In January of 1985 the Houston Fire Department held a memorial ceremony at his gravesite in Glenwood Cemetery and officially added him to the line of duty roster.

 


**Charley Albert Middlekauf


Born:  February 7, 1888, in Canton, Illinois

Died:  March 10, 1953, at age 65

34th HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  January 1, 1910

Assignment:  Assistant Chief-Central Fire Station

Buried:  Forest Park Cemetery, Lawndale, Section 24, Plot 124, Space 12S

Chief Middlekauf, a 43 year veteran, died of a heart attack on the scene of a fire at the Frederick Poultry and Egg Company, 1817 Center Street at Silver Street. One of his duties as Assistant Chief was directing firefighting efforts at multiple alarm fires. He had been commanding firefighters for some time when he fell to his knees and asked to be taken across the street to a neighbor’s porch where he collapsed. Ambulance crews were unable to save him and a physician on the scene pronounced him deceased.

When Charley entered the Houston Fire Department in 1910, the department was equipped with only horse-drawn fire apparatus.



**Robert
Weir “Bobby” Milburn  

 
Born:  March 31, 1911, in Palestine, Texas

Died:  April 14, 1949, at age 38

31st HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  September 4, 1933

Assignment:  Driver-Fire House No. 7

Buried:  South Park Cemetery, Section J, Plot 227, Space 5

Bobby Milburn, the driver of Battalion Chief 7, collided with a pickup truck at the intersection of Fannin Street and McGowen Street. Fire House No. 7 received a signal from Fire Alarm Box 3423 at McGowen Street and Sauer Street. Engine 7 and Ladder 7 were following behind the chief’s car. The truck hit the car broadside so hard it pushed it far into the side street and upon going through the intersection, the firefighters did not see the accident. Chief H. H. “Bubba” Finn and the driver of the pickup were seriously injured. Bobby Milburn was transported to Jefferson Davis Hospital where he was pronounced on arrival.

 

The alarm was false. The crew of Fire House No. 7 was in the process of petitioning the city to have Box 3423 removed due the high number of false alarms it received.



**Barnett Cohen “Barney” Moffatt

Born:  October 10, 1858, in Houston, Texas

Died:  April 26, 1908, at age 49
4
th HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  September 21, 1895

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Engine Company No. 7

Buried:  Glenwood Cemetery, Section D, Plot 94, Space 1

Barney Moffatt died while fighting a fire at the Mercantile Grain Company, 1215 Hardy Street near Lyons Avenue. He was doing clean up with his Lieutenant, Lawrence Lazzio. They were working on the ground floor of the building, assigned to check for hot spots. The floor was overloaded and stacked to the ceiling with sacks of feed, which caused the floor to weaken and collapse into the cellar. Barney fell with the floor and perished; Lawrence was able to survive by grabbing one of the pipes in the ceiling.

Just prior to his death he had been off over a year after being injured in an accident while driving Hose Wagon 5. After recovering from his injuries, he was assigned to Fire House No. 7.

 

Moffatt worked as a volunteer with Stonewall Hose Company No. 3 for nine years. In September of 1895 he was hired as one the first paid Houston Fire Department’s firefighters.

 

Aaron Loyola O’Brien


Born:  September 15, 1906 in Texarkana, Texas

Died:  December 20, 1929, at age 23

21st HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  July 12, 1929

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Fire House No. 19

Buried:  Forest Park Cemetery, Lawndale, Section I, Plot 248, Space 4627

Aaron O’Brien, five months into his career, died along with Michael Ward when Engine 19 was dispatched to a house fire at Quitman Street and Clark Street. When crossing the double railroad tracks at Gregg Street, a short distance from Fire House No. 19, they were hit by a Southern Pacific Railroad locomotive. Buildings at the crossing obstructed the view of an oncoming train and the red lights and the
swinging arm at the crossing were not operating. Four crew members were injured and transported to local hospitals. Aaron died at the scene.
 

 


**Patrick O’Hara
                                                            
Born:  March 17, 1878, in Ireland

Died:  September 21, 1913, at age 35
8
th HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  1906

Assignment:  Lieutenant-Fire House No. 6

Buried:  Calvary Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio, Section 9, Lot 1207, Grave 2

Patrick O’Hara died responding to a signal transmitted from Fire Alarm Box 412, located in the 4th Ward, San Felipe Street and Hobson Street, where a small shack was burning. Engine 6 hit a hole in the street where the bricks were missing. O’Hara was thrown from the side of the engine and fell against a telegraph pole where he died instantly. The accident occurred at Sabine Street and Lubbock Street.

 

His body was put on a train by Westheimer Undertaking and sent to Cleveland, Ohio where his two sisters and brother lived.

 

Patrick, at age 23, immigrated to the United States via Ellis Island in 1901. Married his sweetheart Sarah Haggerty September 16, 1902. Petitioned to become a citizen of the United States in 1905 and moved to Houston, Texas to become a member of the Houston Fire Department in 1906.



Thomas Andrew “Tom” O’Leary

Born:  November 1860, in Newport, Wells, United Kingdom

Died:  December 24, 1908-Christmas Eve, at age 48
5
th HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  September 21, 1895

Assignment:  Fire Chief-Central Fire Station

Buried:  Glenwood Cemetery, Section West Avenue, Lot 343, Space 1 

Harry Oxford had been in the department less than a year when he died along with Captain Little and Edgar Grant when Engine 18 was dispatched to a house fire
at 2426 Wilshire Street at Telephone Road. The incident was after dark, the firefighters were distracted by a large glow in the sky from the house fire. As they approached the railroad crossing at Telephone Road near Lombardy Street, they did not see a Gulf Coast Line Railway locomotive pulling 53 cars entering the crossing at the same time. Engine 18 was broadsided. Harry was transported to St. Joseph Infirmary where he died the next day, his 34
th birthday. Two members of the crew were injured in the accident.



**Harry Lloyd “Red” Oxford

Born:  July 3, 1895, in Dallas, Texas

Died:  July 3, 1929, at age 34

19th HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  November 16, 1928

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Fire House No. 18

Buried:  Forest Park Cemetery, Lawndale, Section I, Plot 143, Section 2

Harry Oxford had been in the department less than a year when he died along with Captain Little and Edgar Grant when Engine 18 was dispatched to a house fire
at 2426 Wilshire Street at Telephone Road. The incident was after dark, the firefighters were distracted by a large glow in the sky from the house fire. As they approached the railroad crossing at Telephone Road near Lombardy Street, they did not see a Gulf Coast Line Railway locomotive pulling 53 cars entering the crossing at the same time. Engine 18 was broadsided. Harry was transported to St. Joseph Infirmary where he died the next day, his 34
th birthday. Two members of the crew were injured in the accident.

 

                                  **Gerardo Isaias "Jerry" Pacheco                                      
 

Born:  January 4, 1970, in Monterrey, Mexico 

Died:  August 3, 2020 at age 50
74
TH HFD LODD
Entered the Houston Fire Department:  January 5, 2004, Class 26 2004
Assignment:  Firefighter-Fire House No. 101 “C” Shift
Buried:  Kline Memorial Park, Tomball, Texas, Section C, Lot 46, Space 2

Jerry Pacheco, a 17 year veteran lost his life due to the COVID-19 Virus. He had been battling the virus in the ICU at the CHI St. Luke’s Health Hospital in the Woodlands. He is the second Houston Firefighter to die from COVID-19.


Jerry is the 62nd COVID-19 related Firefighter Line of Duty Death for 2020, according to the statistics kept by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. On the day he died there were 48,282 new cases of COVID-19 according to the worldometers.info/coronavirus web site.

 

Matthew Rena Renaud

 

Born:  July 2, 1977, in Houston, Texas

Died:  May 31, 2013, at age 35
67
th HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  October 30, 2001, Class 8 2001

Assignment:  Captain-Fire House No. 51 “A” Shift

Buried:  Forest Park Cemetery, Lawndale, Section 39, Lot BE (Bench Estate) 8, Space 1 Lower

Matt Renaud, perished along with Bobby Bebee, Robert Garner and Anne Sullivan while fighting a fire at the Southwest Inn, 6855 Southwest Freeway at Hornwood Drive. The fire started in the Bhojan Indian Restaurant, which was in the front of the motel complex. Just 15 minutes after crews arrived, the roof collapsed, trapping five firefighters. Before the rescuers were able to reach the firefighters, a second ceiling collapsed, trapping all of the rescuers. They were able to escape the collapse along with Captain Dowling, one of the five trapped firefighters.


On April 27, 2013 Captain Renaud and two of his crew members, Firefighter Wally Hayes and Firefighter Joel Rincon received the Unit Meritorious Medal for rescuing an unconscious victim from a burning apartment in April 2012. 

Soon after his death he was posthumously promoted to the rank of Senior Captain.


Robert Munguia Reyes

 
Born:  August 30, 1952, in Houston, Texas

Died:  December 1, 1984, at age 32
53
th HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  January 26, 1981, Class 81A

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Fire House No. 62 “A” Shift

Buried:  Memorial Oaks Cemetery, Section 11, Plot 42, Space 3B

The day of his death, Robert Reyes was assigned to work his shift at Fire House 15. Engine 15 responded to a car fire on Interstate 45. Before the crew arrived at the scene Robert fell to his death from the jump seat of Engine 15.

Reyes spent 10 years working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation before joining the Houston Fire Department. His son, Robert Reyes followed in his dad’s footsteps. He was 6 years old when his dad died and in 2007 he joined the ranks of the Houston Fire Department.


Lewis Washington “Moe” Richardson

Born:  January 18, 1916, in Groveton, Texas

Died:  February 3, 1973, at age 57

49th HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  August 1, 1941

Assignment:  Captain-Fire House No. 7 “A” Shift

Buried:  Forest Park Cemetery, Lawndale, Section J, Plot 144, Space 5

Lewis Richardson perished as the result of a heart attack while fighting an intense apartment fire at 1400 Richmond Avenue near Yaupon Street. Captain Richardson and his crew were attacking the fire from inside one of the apartments units, when he emerged from the apartment complaining of chest pain. He collapsed on scene and transported to Ben Taub Hospital where attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.  



Esker Jackson Rogers


Born:  May 18, 1906, in Buckholts, Texas

Died:  August 22, 1934, at age 28

24th HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  September 1929

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Fire House No. 17

Buried:  Rosewood Cemetery, Section 20, Plot 90, Space 2

The day of his accident, Esker was off duty. He was asked by a friend, who was  assigned to Fire House No. 24, to work his shift. Engine 24 was dispatched to a call and was involved in a collision with a streetcar at Leeland Street and Jackson Street. Esker was pinned between the street car and the fire truck. He was transported to the nearby St. Joseph Infirmary and died a few hours later. Captain Merle London and two of the firefighters were also injured.  Just as Esker relieved his friend, Engine 24 responded to a call. His friend was walking to the bus stop heading home, he heard the crash, which was a few blocks away.

 

Charles Roland Rusk


Born:  June 3, 1880, in Akron, Ohio

Died:  June 8, 1932, at age 52

23rd HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  April 24, 1918

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Fire House No. 14

Buried:  Hollywood Cemetery, Section K, Space 105

Charles Rusk, a 14 year veteran, died when Ladder 14 struck a streetcar at the intersection of 17th Street and Yale Street, just a few blocks from Fire House No. 14. Rusk was transported to the Heights Clinic where attempts to save his life failed. Three firefighters were injured along with two passengers and the streetcar operator.
 

Because of his failing eyesight Charles had been off work since November 21, 1931 and was due to retire. In May of 1932 he regained his eyesight and had just returned to duty on May 8th, exactly one month prior to his death.
 

His son, Raymond, entered the Houston Fire Department 8 years after his father’s death, and retired in 1976 after 36 years of service.


Alfred Henry Schutze


Born:  September 22, 1887, in Bastrop, Texas

Died:  August 21, 1938, at age 50

25th HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  November 5, 1917

Assignment:  Battalion Chief-Fire House No. 7

Buried:  Hollywood Cemetery, Section J, Plot 4, Space 1

Chief Schutze, a 21 year veteran, was dispatched to a garage apartment fire at 2021 Bolsover Street near Hazard Street. He died when his apparatus hit an esplanade in the 5100 block of Main Street and Southmore Boulevard.

 

The accident was at night, the amber warning light at the esplanade was not working. This caused the driver of the apparatus to be unable to see the obstruction. The firefighters on the apparatus were seriously injured and the  driver received minor injuries. Chief Schutze was transported to Methodist Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

 

 

 

Tommy Wayne Searcy


Born:  January 5, 1975, in Houston, Texas
 

Died:  September 8, 2020 at age 45
75
TH HFD LODD
Entered the Houston Fire Department:  August 12, 2002, Class 14 2002 
Assignment:  Captain-Fire House No. 67 “A” Shift
Buried:  Kline Memorial Park, Pinehurst, Texas, Section N, Lot 103, Space 4

Captain Tommy Searcy, an 18 year veteran of HFD, lost his life to COVID-19 virus.

 

He is the third Houston Fire Fighter and the 84th in the United States to pass away from the COVID-19 virus as a line of duty death in 2020.


Tommy and his family received an amazing amount of support from around the world, including help from the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 341 and Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. They were instrumental in getting access to an experimental drug that helped Tommy’s body fight the virus while he was in The Woodlands Memorial Hermann's ICU.

 

He proudly served the community for over 25 years with several fire departments in the Houston area including Bellaire, Lufkin, Magnolia, and Westfield, where he

became Assistant Chief. Tommy received multiple awards and commendations of valor from both the Westfield Fire Department and the Houston Fire Department.

In 2019 his direct actions at a house fire helped save the life of a fellow Houston Firefighter. Captain Searcy was universally respected for his honor, pride and tradition in the fire service.

 

Tommy was immensely proud of and survived by his three daughters Kaylin, Kirsta, and Kinley. He is also survived by his parents Harold and Sin Chae Searcy, older brother Terry Searcy, and his twin brother HFD Captain Tony Searcy.

 

Forever Brave, Never Give Up, as in the words of Captain Tommy Searcy...

Come On, Let's do this"


**Delbert Harvey Sherfy

 
Born:  April 19, 1913, in Houston, Texas

Died:  October 31, 1954-Halloween, at age 41
39
th HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  June 25, 1941

Assignment:  Chauffeur-Fire House No. 17

Buried:  Cleveland Memorial Cemetery, Cleveland, Texas, Lot 103, Space 4

Delbert Sherfy was part of the crew of Engine 17 dispatched to wash down fuel at an accident. On the way to the scene, the fire apparatus collided with a passenger car at Canal Street and Sampson Street. Delbert died at the scene, both occupants of the car, and four firefighters were injured. 

 

Delbert’s Grandfather, Henry Donnelly, served the Houston Fire Department for 50 years from 1895 to 1945. When Henry retired, he was 78. Before Henry joined the ranks of the Houston Fire Department, he was a paid driver for the Volunteer Curtin 9 Hose Company. Delbert’s uncle, Eddie, also served from 1923 to 1945.

 


**Kimberly Ann Smith

 
Born:  November 20, 1969, in El Paso, Texas

Died:  February 14, 2000-Valentine’s Day, at age 30
55
th HFD Line of Duty

Entered the Fire Department:  April 11, 1994, Class 94A

Assignment:  Firefighter-Fire House No. 76 “C” Shift

Buried:  Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Refugio, Texas, Far left corner, Between her Grand Parents Beatrice and Lewis Zarsky

Kim Smith died with her crew member Lewis Mayo. At 0433 hours Engine 76 responded to a fire in a McDonald’s Restaurant, 12602 Bissonnet Street and Dairy View Lane, less than a mile from their quarters. Upon arrival, Engine 76 reported that fire was coming from the roof of the restaurant. The crew of Engine 76 entered the building and started to advance the hose line to the back of the restaurant. The section of the roof that contained the air condition units collapsed, trapping and injuring Lewis. Kim, also trapped, was able to free herself and head toward the back door of the building.

 

Kim was found deceased six feet from the back door. Lewis was rescued and transported to Hermann Hospital where efforts to save him failed. The fire was arson, started by four males attempting to break into the office safe. When unable to open the safe, they set the office on fire. All four men were convicted of multiple crimes with sentences ranging from 2 to 35 years.


Kim won first place in the 1998 Western Regional Firefighter Combat Challenge. She is the Houston Fire Department’s first female line of duty death. 

 

**James Magerson “Mag” Smith

Born:  August 23, 1891, in Taylor, Texas

Died:  February 9, 1929, at age 37
16
th HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  May 4, 1920

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Fire House No. 10
Buried:  Evergreen Cemetery, Section B2, Plot 56, Space 4

James died while hooking up a hose line to a fire hydrant during a house fire at 2704 Congress Avenue near Dowling Street. As Engine 10 was laying a hose line, a hose couple hung up in the hose bed. The hose couple at the hydrant was pulled away striking Smith in the head, killing him instantly. A crew member was at the hydrant helping Smith, he escaped injury.

 

Smith first entered the Houston Fire Department in 1908 at age 17. In 1913, after 5 years of service, he resigned. He was rehired in 1920 and had continuous service until his death. His brother,William, entered the Houston Fire Department in 1924 and served the citizens of Houston for 40 years. 

 

 Joseph “Joe” Solito

 
Born:  August 24, 1914, in Lake Charles, Louisiana

Died:  July 29, 1953, at age 38

36th HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  1938

Assignment:  Driver-Fire House No. 8

Buried:  Forest Park Cemetery, Lawndale, Gethsemane 50, Plot 6, Space 6

Joe Solito, died with Fidel Chabolla, in a collision between Engine 8 and
Ladder 1. The fire alarm box at Gable Street and MKT Railroad transmitted an alarm. Events led to the collision of these two apparatus at the intersection of Preston Street and Crawford Street. Engine 10 was the first due company; they were on another assignment and were replaced by Engine 8. Ladder 1 had trouble starting and was delayed leaving quarters. This put both trucks in the intersection at the same time. Seven firefighters were injured in the accident. Joe was transported to St. Joseph Hospital where efforts to revive him failed.


This is the same intersection where Frank Catino died five months later on January 7, 1954. The same building on the corner, the Southern Electric Supply Company at 1605 Preston Street was damaged in both accidents. The “Houston Chronicle” dubbed it the “Death Corner”.

 

Kenneth Dale "Kenny" Stavinoha


Born:  April 13, 1983, in Houston, Texas
Died:  September 21, 2019 at age 36
72nd HFD LODD
Entered the Houston Fire Department:  March 8, 2018, Class 2018A

Assignment:  Firefighter-Fire House No. 27 “A” Shift
Buried:  Klein Memorial Park, Tomball, Texas, Section L, Lot 325, Space 2

On September 21, 2019, the day Ken passed away he was wanting to stay busy as usual.  He asked if he could cut the grass because the grass had not been cut the day before. Ken would be seen throughout the day weed eating and mowing just trying to stay busy.  District Chief 19 would come by as he often did just to talk and Ken came in to visit with the Chief. After the Chief left and not hearing from Ken in a while, he would be found by Captain Flores unconscious and unresponsive behind Fire House 27. It would later be discovered that he had suffered a major heart attack, which claimed his life.

 

Ken grew up in Houston and graduated from Scarborough High School class of 2002. Ken was a “doer” and always gave his best at whatever task required of him. Obstacles in life shaped the person he grew up to be: a hardworking man of courage. One of his many admirable qualities was his passion for fixing things, especially cars. Aside from his love for cars, he also enjoyed fishing, surfing, hunting and of course racing, especially his Toyota Supra. Ken worked in the printing industry for 16 years. In 2016 the company closed the doors due to financial difficulties and Ken lost his job. He graduated from the Val Jahnke Training Facility in March 8, 2018 Class A. His first assignment was Fire House 19 “A” Shift. After completing his probationary period, he was assigned to Fire House 27 “A” Shift.

Ken’s strength, tall stature and tough shell could have made you feel intimidated, but to all those who truly knew him, he will always be remembered as a kind, gentle giant with a good soul. His unwavering dedication to his job, and his love to help others will always be a cherished memory of him.                                           
Written by Captain Joe Flores and Jessica Stavinoha
  

 

Anne McCormick "Punky" Sullivan

Born:  December 4, 1988, in Houston, Texas

Died:  May 31, 2013, at age 24
64
th HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  April 11, 2013, Class 2013A

Assignment:  Firefighter-Fire House No. 68 “A” Shift

Buried:  Glenwood Cemetery, Section C, Fireman’s Plot, Plot 98, West Half

Anne, died along with Matt Renaud, Bobby Bebee and Robert Garner while fighting a fire at the Southwest Inn, 6855 Southwest Freeway at Hornwood Drive. The fire started in the Bhojan Indian Restaurant, which was in the front of the motel complex. Just 15 minutes after crews arrived, the roof collapsed, trapping five firefighters. Before the rescuers were able to reach the firefighters, a second ceiling collapsed, trapping all of the rescuers. They were able to escape the collapse along with Captain Dowling, one of the five trapped firefighters. 

 

Anne graduated on April 11, 2013 from the Val Jahnke Training Facility. She had worked 11 shifts before her death. She was a member of the Community Volunteer Fire Department and the Stafford Volunteer Fire Department.


 

**Rufus John "Bullock" Templet

Born:  October 4, 1894, in New Iberia, Louisiana

Died:  March 12, 1951, at age 56

33rd HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  January 1, 1922

Assignment:  Captain-Fire House No. 5

Buried:  Forest Park Cemetery, Westheimer, Catacombs, Section 54, Plot 497, Space 12

Captain Templet, a 29 year veteran, suffered a heart attack while fighting a multiple alarm fire on January 31, 1951. He was transported to Veterans Administration Hospital where he died two months later. The fire involved the Alaskan Fur Factory at 600 Main Street and Texas Avenue and two other business, the National Shirt Shop and Shaw’s Jewelry Store. All three businesses were heavily damaged. This fire was especially difficult due to the freezing, icy weather which kept the smoke close to the ground. The fire was also responsible for the death of Joseph Connor. Rufus Templet was known as a dedicated firefighter and often responded to alarms off duty. His wife, Lottie, was responsible for starting what became the Ladies Auxiliary Club  

 

Emil “Ed” Thompson


Born:  1868, in Sweden

Died:  April 27, 1899, at age 31
1
st HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  January 1, 1897

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Hose Company No. 5

Buried:  Glenwood Cemetery, Section C, Fireman’s Plot, Plot 98, East Half

Emil Thompson died after being ran over by a Texas Central Railway train. The crew was responding to a house fire on Crockett Street. Houston Avenue was the fastest route, but was not always the best, especially after rain. The driver took a different route to avoid Houston Avenue. Hose Wagon 5 was attempting to cross the railroad tracks at Hickory Street, which had an unusually steep grade and a blind spot. The Hose Wagon was already on the tracks when the driver realized they were in danger of being hit by the oncoming locomotive pushing cars toward them. The driver shouted at the well-trained horses and was able avoid being hit by the train cars. The crew members in the back feared they would not clear the crossing in time and began jumping. Thompson was the last man off and fell backward into the path of the train where he died instantly.


**Herman Joseph “Dutch” Wagner

Born:  June 2, 1871, in Chicago, Illinois

Died:  May 25, 1912, at age 40
6
th HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  September 21, 1895

Assignment:  Captain-Washington No. 8

Buried:  Washington Cemetery (Glenwood Cemetery), Section D, Plot 2, Space 4

Captain Wagner, a 17 year veteran, was struck by a heavy timber while fighting a fire at the six story Stowers Furniture Building on 701 Main Street between Rusk Street and Capitol Street, Sunday May 19th. The fire destroyed a whole city block including three adjacent buildings. He was transported to St. Joseph Infirmary, where he fought valiantly for his life for six days. After surgery was performed in a final attempt to save his life, he never regained consciousness.  

A local newspaper dubbed the incident “The Million Dollar Fire”. Captain Wagner had remarked to his wife one day when they were downtown that the Stowers Building was dangerous and would someday kill a firefighter. He never thought the firefighter would be himself.

 

Captain Wagner was one of the first firefighters hired when the City of Houston went from a volunteer department to a paid department in September of 1895.

 

Walter William “Molly” Walker

 

Born:  October 23, 1881, in Millican, Texas

Died:  July 1, 1940, at age 58

26th HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  March 1, 1914

Assignment:  Driver-Fire House No. 2
Buried:  Hollywood Cemetery, Peaceful Valley, Plot 98, Space 5

Molly’s assignment at Fire House No. 2 was driving the reserve engine the crew nicknamed “The Bulldog”. The brand name of the truck was Mack and the Mack Truck Company used a small hood ornament shaped like a bulldog as their company symbol.


The day of the accident, December 6, 1938 was Molly’s day off but he took the place of a fellow firefighter named Hearn Hooker, who wanted that day off. Molly and “The Bulldog” were sent to Fire House No. 17 for the day while their apparatus was at the repair shop for maintenance. While responding to a fire call, they hit a city bus at Harrisburg Street and Sampson Street. Molly was injured along with several firefighters. Molly sustained a blood clot, back then there not much the doctors could do. He was sent home and died as a result of his injuries 19 months later.

 

His fellow firefighters gave him the nickname, “Molly Cottontail”, when he began raising rabbits behind Fire House No. 3. “Molly Cottontail”, through time was cut short to “Molly”. The nickname had become so much a part of him, his wife chose to have the name “Molly” engraved on his headstone.  

 
**James Louis Walls Jr.


Born:  March 8, 1945, in Elizabeth City, Virginia

Died:  May 3, 1971, at age 26

47th HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  May 5, 1969, Class 69D

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Fire House No. 51 “A” Shift

Buried:  Memorial Oaks Cemetery, Section 7, Plot 61, Space 2

James Walls died while driving Ambulance 1128 that was struck by a passenger vehicle at the intersection of Chimney Rock Road and Westheimer Road. At this point in time the Houston Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Service, which began providing service on April 1, 1971, had 21 light duty Dodge vans in service. The small size of the van was found to be a contributing factor in the death of Walls. Soon after the accident the HFD purchased 22 heavy duty modular ambulances.

The news media soon dubbed these units as “an emergency room on wheels”.


 

Michael James Ward Jr.


Born:  January 2, 1895, in Evansville, Indiana

Died:  December 21, 1929, at age 34

22nd HFD LODD
Entered the Fire Department:  January 1, 1929

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Fire House No. 14
Buried:  St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Evansville, Indiana, Section 9, Lot 69, Space 5

Michael Ward died with his friend Aaron O’Brien when Engine 19 was dispatched to a house fire at Quitman Street and Clark Street. When crossing the double railroad tracks at Gregg Street, a short distance from Fire House No. 19, they were hit by a Southern Pacific Railroad locomotive. Buildings at the crossing obstructed the view of an oncoming train and the red lights and the swinging arm at the crossing were not operating. O’Brien died instantly and Ward was transported to Memorial Baptist Hospital where he died the next day. Four crew members were injured and transported to local hospitals.

 

He had been visiting Aaron at the fire house and went on the call with them

 

 

Steven Reid Whitfield  II


Born:  March 17, 1984, in Beaumont, Texas
Died:  March 31, 2016, at age 32
70
th HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  October 26, 2015 

Assignment:  Cadet-Val Jahnke Training Facility, Class 2015G 

Buried:  Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Beaumont, Texas, Garden of Love, Plot D, Lot 76, Space 2

Steven was a well respected cadet, mentor and motivator to many of his classmates and had only two and a half months left of his training. He was 32 and older than most of his fellow cadets. His class graduated June 16th and dedicated the ceremony to him. Class 2015G placed a memorial plaque at the Val Jahnke Training Facility in his honor.

In 2014 he became a member of the Texas National Guard. After completing infantry and airborne school he was in line to attend Army Ranger School. The Army offered him an opportunity to attend the testing process to join the Green Berets, he declined the offer.


On the morning of March 31
st, the members of Class 2015G were going through the obstacle course at the Survival House. Steven had almost competed his turn when he collapsed. His classmates quickly brought him outside and began CPR while attempting to lower his body temperature. Medic 44 was on the grounds involved in a drill. They transported him to Memorial Hermann Hospital. Several hours later efforts to save him failed. His cause of death was ruled dehydration and hyperthermia.


**Clifford Allen Wiese

 

Born:  June 10, 1891, in Houston, Texas

Died:  July 14, 1913, at age 22
7
th HFD LODD

Entered the Fire Department:  July 4, 1913

Assignment:  Pipe and Ladderman-Hose Company No. 3
Buried:  Magnolia Cemetery, Section 39, Space B, in the Wiese family plot.

Clifford Wiese had been a member of the Houston Fire Department for ten days when his mule drawn supply wagon was struck by a train. He was assigned to drive the wagon and deliver supplies to the fire houses around the city. On his way back to Fire House No. 3 via Johnson Street, he crossed the railroad tracks behind the fire house as a Missouri Kansas Texas Railroad work train, repairing the track, pushed its cars into the intersection. The mule was injured in the collision and Wiese was transported to St. Joseph Infirmary where he succumbed to his injuries.