2 firefighters dead, 2 injured in Bryan fire

2 firefighters dead, 2 injured in Bryan fire

Credit: Courtesy photos

Mitchel Moran, 21, was injured while trying to save Lt. Eric Wallace from a fire that started at the Knights of Columbus Hall Friday night in downtown Bryan. Moran suffered burns during the rescue and has been transported the Galveston for treatment.

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by KHOU.com staff & Associated Press

kvue.com

Posted on February 16, 2013 at 4:42 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 5 at 11:25 AM

BRYAN, Texas — A firefighter has died and three others were injured after responding to a blaze at the Knights of Columbus Hall in downtown Bryan.

City spokeswoman Mary Stratta said Saturday that 36-year-old Lt. Eric Wallace died while fighting the fire overnight.

Three others were transported to hospital burn units: 54-year-old Lt. Gregory Pickard, 30-year-old Ricky Mantey Jr. and 21-year-old Mitchel Moran. Stratta said their conditions were unknown.

Firefighters from Bryan and nearby College Station were called to the KC Hall in the 1500 block of Groesbeck Drive at about 11:20 p.m. Friday. Stratta said Wallace’s team went into the structure, but was ordered to evacuate.

Wallace didn’t come out and called for help, saying he was low on air. She said rapid response units found Wallace, a 13-year veteran, inside. An early report indicated Wallace became trapped when a portion of the roof reportedly collapsed.

The Texas State Fire Marshal’s office is investigating. The hall was vacant at the time of the fire.

According to KBTX-TV, Wallace, 36, was married with five children, according to the city of Bryan. He was a nearly 13-year veteran of the department. In June 2012, a fundraiser was held to help the Wallace family after the couple’s newest child was born premature.

In 2010, Wallace was honored by the 100 Club for bravery in a 2009 fire. He was off-duty, driving home from a shift when he saw a house on fire. When he found out the homeowner was still inside, he ran into the burning building. The homeowner was too weak to get out on his own, but Wallace pulled him to safety.

Pickard has been with BFD for 32 years, according to the city. Mantey has served BFD for five years, and Moran for 10 months.

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