COMMUNICATION PROBLEMS LED TO BRYAN FIREFIGHTER DEATHS

  

The State Fire Marshal’s office has released its findings on the deadly fire at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Bryan in February of 2013.

The report details the loss of communications during the late night blaze that killed Lieutenants Eric Wallace and Greg Pickard.

The report says that Wallace’s first call for help came at 11:40pm and is detailed in a 45-page report released Monday.  The State Fire Marshal’s office investigated the fire.  Firefighters Rickey Mantey and Mitch Moran were severely burned in the fire.

The report provides an explanation as to the cause of the fire and a timeline of what occurred.  The investigation also revealed six key findings concerning issues involving staffing, leadership and communications.

The fire was ruled an accident caused by a short in a damaged power cord to a pedestal fan.

Crews were dispatched to the fire at 11:19pm, Friday, February 15th, 2013.  Wallace’s engine crew was the first to arrive at 11:24, and immediately noted flames on the roof of the southeast corner of the building.

Mintues later, while in the building, fire crews observed the fire was rolling up a wall and over their heads.

Two Bryan firefighters were killed and two critically injured in the deadly fire at the Knights of Columbus hall in 2013.(photo courtesy KBTX.)

Two Bryan firefighters were killed and two critically injured in the deadly fire at the Knights of Columbus hall in 2013.(photo courtesy KBTX.)

Wallace then instructed the firefighter he was with to go in but within minutes the two were separated.  Wallace was killed moments later.  A  commander called for an evacuation order to be sent but an emergency tone was sounded.

Lt. Greg Pickard was killed in the fire, too.  His death was due to fire injuries and smoke inhalation.

 

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