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