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BREAKING: Deadly Bryan fire at Knights of Columbus kills two firefighters, two injured

Saturday, February 16, 2013 - 6:44pm

 A deadly Bryan fire has claimed the lives of two firefighters and injured two others.

Bryan firefighters responded to a major commercial structural fire at the Knights of Columbus Hall at 1500 Groesbeck Street in Bryan at approximately 11:20 p.m., February 15.

Authorities tell us Fire Lieutenant Eric Wallace, age 36, died in the line of duty.  Three other firefighters were badly injured in the blaze and transported to burn units in other locations, however Lt. Gregory Pickard, 54, died from his injuries Saturday afternoon.

Firefighter Ricky D. Mantey, Jr., 30, and Probationary Firefighter Mitchel S. Moran, 21 are both listed in stable condition at UTMB in Galveston.

Fire officials report that a passerby saw the fire and called 9-1-1.  Several Bryan units responded.   College Station Fire Department helped secure the site after the Bryan firefighters were injured.

Bryan Fire Chief Randy McGregor said in a press conference at 6:00 a.m. that the State Fire Marshal’s Office will investigate the incident to determine the cause of the fire.  It is reported that no activities were occurring in the KC Hall when the fire was reported to 9-1-1.  Since the cause of the fire is under investigation, details cannot be released at this time.

Chief McGregor said, “There are no words to express our grief at the loss of Eric and our concern for Greg, Ricky and Mitch, and their families.  These four courageous individuals represent the best of the profession and are true heroes in every sense of the word. “

Lt. Wallace protected the citizens of Bryan for almost 13 years with the Bryan Fire Department.  He is survived by his wife, Brandi, and five children.  Pickard, Mantey and Moran have served 32 years, 5 years, and 10 months, respectively, with the Bryan Fire Department.

The City of Bryan family appreciates the support of our neighbors in College Station and surrounding Volunteer Fire Departments.  We would ask that the privacy of these brave men and their families be respected at this difficult time.

Funeral arrangements for Lt. Eric Wallace have just been set as follows:  The funeral will be Thursday, Feb. 21, at 10:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Bryan.  The funeral procession will immediately follow the funeral service with burial at the Hillcrest Cemetery in Marlin, Texas.  Visitation will be Wednesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Adams Funeral Home in Marlin.

Governor Perry has authorized the lowering of the Texas flag to half staff by all governmental entities in the area to recognize the line of duty death of Lt. Wallace and Lt. Pickard.  Businesses and other entities are also authorized to lower the Texas flag to half staff is they so desire.  The  duration of the flag status has not as yet been determined.

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