SAN ANTONIO - The San Antonio Fire Department is coming together to mourn the loss of one of its own.
The firefighters of Ladder 35 went full force into the four-alarm fire that took over the Ingram Park shopping center late Thursday.
The blaze quickly became out of control.
Inside, Scott Deem and other firefighters became lost in the smoke.
“We have firefighters who fought desperately tonight to try to save their friend's life," San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said.
While one firefighter was able to make it out, pulled from the ash and smoke was the body of Deem, a six-year veteran of the department.
"Unfortunately, we had one of our worst days," Chief Hood said.
Business owners and on-lookers were overcome with emotion.
"My heart goes out to those firefighters that are out here trying to salvage our businesses, and I pray for them,” Emond Johnson said. He is co-owner of The Spartan Box, located near the fire.
"Just keep them in your prayers," Glitch Computer Repairs owner Robert Guerra said.
The San Antonio Fire Department has not experienced a tragic loss like this in more than 20 years.
The last time a firefighter died in the line of duty was in May of 1997.
Chief Hood is now asking for the community’s support.
"Give us your prayers because we are hurting, but we are going to continue to do the good job that we always do,” Hood said.
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