Houston Mayor: The worst day in Houston Fire Department history

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by Stacy Morrow / KHOU.com staff

khou.com

Posted on May 31, 2013 at 5:50 PM

Updated Sunday, Jun 2 at 6:31 PM

Southwest Inn motel

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HOUSTON – Friday marked the worst day in the history of the Houston Fire Department as four firefighters lost their lives battling a massive motel fire in southwest Houston.

The five-alarm blaze started just before 12:30 p.m. at the Southwest Inn motel located near the Southwest Freeway at Hillcroft. Three bodies were found in the building's rubble and a fourth firefighter died at Southwest Memorial Hermann Hospital.

The victims were identified as Cpt. EMT Matthew Renaud, 35, of Station 51; Engineer Operator EMT Robert Bebee, 41, of Station 51; Firefighter EMT Robert Garner, 29, of Station 68; and Probationary Firefighter Anne Sullivan, 24, of Station 68, who graduated from the HFD Academy last month.

Thirteen other firefighters were injured.

“Today is going to go down in the history of the Houston Fire Department as the worst day in the history of the Houston Fire Department; the greatest loss of lives in the proud tradition of the Houston Fire Department,” Houston Mayor Annise Parker said.

In 1929, three firefighters passed away after their engine was broadsided by a train, according to HFD officials.

The HoustonFireMemorial.org provides a look back at other Houston Fire Department firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty:
 

Thomas Dillion

March 2012

 Cohnway Mathew Johnson
May, 4, 2009

James Arthur Harlow
April 12, 2009


Damion Jon Hobbs
April 12, 2009


Grady Don Burke
February 19, 2005

Kevin Wayne Kulow
April 4, 2004

Jay Paul Jahnke
October 13, 2001

Kimberly Ann Smith
February 14, 2000

Lewis Evans Mayo III
February 14, 2000

Steven Clyde Mayfield
December 2, 1998

Ruben Lopez
December 4, 1996

Robert Reyes
December 1, 1984

Lonnie Louzette Franklin
January 4, 1983

Thomas Norwood Cooper
September 23, 1982

Jackie Dunham Ludwick
February 4, 1977

Lewis "Moe" Washington Richardson
February 3, 1973

Truxton Joseph Hathaway Jr.
October 19, 1971

James Louis Walls
May 3, 1971

Steve Charlie Baranowski
February 3, 1969

Claude Jackson Hopkins
June 30, 1962

Doninic "Don" J. Contorno
May 21, 1962

Charles Alponse Jedlicka
November 17, 1959

D. H. Chandler
November 9, 1959

Willis Neal McWhorter
November 6, 1959

William Henry Kersten
December 18, 1954

Delbert Harvey Sherfy
October 31, 1954

Woodrow Wilson Erwin
February 24, 1954

Frank Catino
January 7, 1954

Joseph "Joe" James Solito
July 29, 1953

Fidel Chabolla
July 29, 1953

Charley Albert Middlekauf
March 10, 1953

Rufus "Bullock" John Templet
March 12, 1951

Joseph "Bull" Earl Connor
January 31, 1951

Robert "Bobby" Weir Milburn
April 14, 1949

Vernon John Dorsett
January 21, 1949

John "Red" Benjamin Adams
March 7, 1948

James Edward Lowth
March 31, 1947

Horrace Oscar Gassoway
August 6, 1941

"Molly" Walker
July 1, 1940

Alford Henry Schutze
August 21, 1938

Esker Jackson Rogers
August 22, 1934

Charles Roland Rusk
June 8, 1932

Michael J. Ward
December 21, 1929

Aaron Layola O'Brien
Decmeber 20, 1929

John Sellis Little Sr.
July, 11, 1929

Harry L. "Red" Oxford
July 3, 1929

Edgar H. Grant
July 2, 1929

Rudolph "Rudy" L. Hendicks
June 22, 1929

James "Mag" M. Smith
February 9, 1929

Claude W. Edmonds
August 19, 1926

George L. Bishop
March 1, 1926

Harold A. Denny
May 1, 1924

John "Bob" A. Boyd
August 4, 1923

Harry Dodd
July 26, 1923

H. A. "Ace" Harris
February 14, 1921

Robert Rutherford Glass
December 1, 1913

Patrick O’Hare
September 21, 1913

Clifford A. Wiese
July 14, 1913

Herman J. "Dutch" Wagner
May 25, 1912

Thomas Andrew O’Leary
December 24, 1908

Barney C. Moffatt
April 26, 1908

Clifford W. Johnson
Junr 13, 1902

Frank W. Medlenka
November 23, 1901

Emil "Ed" Thompson
April 27, 1899

 

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