HOUSTON — A longtime Houston firefighter died Monday morning due to coronavirus complications, Chief Samuel Peña confirmed.
Jerry Pacheco, who was both a firefighter and paramedic, had served with the department for 17 years. He was assigned to Station 101 in Kingwood.
He is the second Houston firefighter to die from coronavirus, the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association said. His death is being classified as a line-of-duty death, officials confirmed.
“Please keep the family, friends and station crew of Jerry Pacheco in your thoughts and prayers," union President Patrick M. Lancton said. "We mourn the loss of our friend. His tragic death is another reminder to be vigilant in our efforts to keep our families, friends and station crews safe in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Peña mentioned the Pacheco’s son is also a firefighter with the Houston Fire Department.
HPFFA said funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.
It's the second HFD death related to COVID-19 to be announced.
The news comes about a week after HFD Captain Leroy Lucio was laid to rest.
Lucio had been admitted to an intensive care unit at a San Antonio Hospital after being diagnosed. He died from COVID-19 complications following a hard-fought battle in July.
Lucio was a 29-year veteran of the department.
HFD has been heavily impacted by the coronavirus as employees respond to the pandemic. In early July, Peña confirmed at least 300 firefighters had been quarantined.
With a surge in calls and less firefighters available, the chief said the department has been stretched thin.
Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association statement:
"Jerry Pacheco, who served 17 years in the Houston Fire Department, passed away early today after valiantly fighting Coronavirus / COVID-19, the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association said.
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