Uncle Tony salutes Station 51 fallen captain in emotional tribute

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by KHOU.com staff

khou.com

Posted on June 5, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 5 at 5:13 PM

HOUSTON—Tony Rocha gave an emotional farewell to his nephew, Capt. Matthew Renaud, one of four Houston firefighters who died battling a massive five-alarm blaze in southwest Houston on May 31. The 35-year-old Renaud was an 11 ½-year veteran of the department, serving at Station 51 when he made his final call. 

(Excerpts)
“I always remembered to get him a gift every year on his birthday. We went to many sporting events together and I was with him when he caught his first fish. He and I have had some great times together,” Rocha said, constantly fighting back tears. “I don’t know about you, but other than our Lord Jesus, I don’t know anyone who knew when their calling was right out of the chute, so why these men and women would ever want to be a firefighter, I do not know. I never took a moment to ask my nephew why he wanted to be a firefighter. “
“I would like to share with you the answer that helps me understand why they want a career in such an extremely dangerous job, but at this moment, I have no clear answer Maybe in a day, week, a month, a year from now, I will answer to why anyone wants this job. I just don’t know. What I do know is that I have a sister, a mother, whose heart is broken in a million pieces right now because her youngest of two sons has passed away in a terrible accident . And now, I am standing in front of thousands of people that I don’t know attempting to find words to make her and many others that love Matthew feel better.”
--Tony Rocha

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