A Somber Day For Houston
I ran a quick errand and as I returned home and made the turn onto Clarewood from Fondren, I saw a tall tower of pitch black smoke rising from what looked like the high-rise retirement community located a few blocks from my condo community. I decided to drive toward it to see what was up, but it wasn’t the retirement tower. I drove all the way to 59 and found an immense fire overtaking an older motel on the other side of the highway. It was quite intense, it was hot and windy, and all I could think about was the firefighters–especially after noticing the collapsed roof and a line of EMS ambulances lining the road.
At the end of the day, our worst fears turned to reality–Houston had lost four fighters, including a fresh-out-of-the-academy female probationary firefighter. Along with them, several more injured. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the fallen and injured. And our most sincere thanks to Houston’s first responders.
The Houston Fire Department is saddened and deeply regrets to list the following members who gave the ultimate sacrifice from a fire in Southwest Houston this afternoon:
- Captain EMT Matthew Renaud (35) of Station 51. He began his career with the Houston Fire Department in October of 2001 and in addition to Fire Station 51 has served out of Stations 39, 83, 73, 37, 60 and 35.
- Engineer Operator EMT Robert Bebee (41) of Station 51. He began his career with the Houston Fire Department in August of 2001 and in addition to Fire Station 51, has served out of Stations 37, 40, 10 and 48.
- Firefighter EMT Robert Garner (29) of Station 68. He began his career with the Houston Fire Department in October of 2010 and has served out of Fire Station 68 since.
- Probationary Firefighter Anne Sullivan (24) of Station 68. She graduated from Houston Fire Department Academy this past April and was assigned to Fire Station 68.
The Houston Fire Department has never seen four firefighters pass away from the same incident in the history of the department. In 1929, three firefighters passed away after their Engine was broadsided by a train.
Five firefighters were initially transported to the hospital for a range of injures from heat exhaustion to critical injuries.
Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with not only those friends and family of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice today but also those who were injured and all members of our department.