AUSTIN, Texas -- A temporary stone with seven names etched onto it lays in the shadow of the second-oldest memorial on the Texas Capitol grounds. The temporary stone is necessary, because 117 years after the monument was built; it has run out of room for more names.
"If you go back and look, there's names from the 1800's,” said Chris Barron, director of the State Firemen's and Fire Marshal's Association of Texas in charge of the monument.
Technically, the monument has been full since 2011, but now there is an immediate effort to build a permanent addition to the 50-foot tall memorial.
“The West incident made it more prominent, that we've got to start this thing fast and we've got to start it quickly,” said Barron.
“We just want to give back to those firefighter families who gave the ultimate sacrifice."
The new memorial will be a wall of granite surrounding the existing statue, with enough room to honor fallen volunteer firefighters for years to come.
“These firefighters do this for no pay, they do it out of the gratification of their heart to give back to their community and we figured the least we can do is honor them by putting their names on the memorial."
Barron tells KVUE they need donations to make the permanent memorial possible. It will cost an estimated $100,000 and they hope to get enough money to begin work immediately.
If you would like to make a donation, click here to make it online, or please send your check payable to “SFFMA Monument Expansion,” 4450 Frontier Trail, Austin, TX 78745.