Trapped Under Roof Collapse
Update: 2nd Firefighter dies from injuries. Scroll down.
A BRYAN, TEXAS, FIRE LIEUTENANT ERIC WALLACE. 36, perished early this morning at a commercial fire when the roof collapsed, trapping him and seriously burning three other firefighters. The accident happened around midnight while Lt. Wallace and another firefighter were doing a primary search (unconfirmed) and the roof came down. The other FF was able to escape, but Wallace was trapped under the debris.
An R.I.T. of three went in to attempt to rescue the lieutenant, but the heat and flames were so intense that they were stymied and severely burned. A second RIT was then sent in and they were able to reach the downed firefighter, but too late. They were able to bring him out.
The three burned FF's were Lt. Greg Pickard, 54; Firefighter Ricky Mantey Jr., 30; and Probationary Firefighter Mitch Moran, 21. They were taken by helicopter from the scene to medical facilities for treatment of burns. Wallace had been a member of the department for 13 years. He is survived by his wife, Brandi, and five children. Pickard served with the department for 32 years. Mantey had been with the department for five years, and Moran for 10 months.
Update, 6 pm Central: 2nd Firefighter dies.
KTRK-TV and other sources are reporting that Fire Lt. Gregory Pickard, 54, died between 4:30pm and 5:30pm Central at UTMB in Galveston due to burn wounds and smoke inhalation. Lt. Pickard was leading the R.I.T. that first attempted to reach Lt. Wallace.
Lt. Greg Pickard
The fire was discovered by a passerby around 11:30 pm and the first-in units found fire showing. The building, which was not occupied at the time, was a Kinghts of Columbus hall that did not have any activites scheduled for last night. As you might expect, any new information will be closely held until the investigation is completed.
FirefighterNation has more details and four videos including raw fire footage HERE.
KTRK-TV Ch. 13 Houston prepared this video report:
The news release issued by the City of Bryan is HERE.
* * * * * * *