Houston firefighters mark a year since hotel fire


by Courtney Zubowski / KHOU 11 News


Posted on May 31, 2014 at 12:43 PM

Updated Saturday, May 31 at 6:23 PM

HOUSTON – They came to support the families that arrived minus one. The families like those of Matthew Renaud, Robert Bebee, Robert Garner and Anne Sullivan.

These are the families of four heroic fallen firefighters.

“You know I was fortunate today, because I got to show up with my loved one, my wife, and we happen to know that there are four families today that are going to show up without one of their loved ones,” Houston Fire Chief Terry Garrison said outside the Firefighter’s Pension Hall in the 4200 block of Interwood North Parkway.

On this one year anniversary of the fire at the Southwest Inn closure still seems at a distance. There is still no cause, and there are still no answers.

What they do know is the roof collapsed and it happened fast with deadly consequences.

“It’s a very sad day knowing it’s not over. The families are still grieving their loss,” said Tony Constanzo, firefighter with the La Porte Fire Department.

The mayor of Houston attended the memorial not to speak, but to show support.

“This is an opportunity for firefighters to gather with family and friends and reflect and remember,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “It will be a solemn private ceremony.”

And for the family members like Matthew Renaud’s cousin, while this may be the anniversary, she points out they feel the loss and pain 365 days a year.

“It’s just another day to remember,” said Audrey Meador. “It never goes away. We remember every day.”