As I sit to write this post, I am overwhelmed with many emotions. For the past ten years, I have found myself torn between celebrating the love of valentine's day and the memory of my three lost brothers. The events of Feb. 15, 1999 came on the heels of romance and love for all of us at station 13. We all started that day, the 15th, satisfied we had passed yet another milestone of roses and thoughtfully written cards. Our respective spouses willingly allowed us to run to the morning tone of structure fire. By all accounts, the world was good. Our spouses are happy and we were off to fight a fire. The world would not stay good though. As first due engines pulled onto the fire at Precious Faith Temple, heavy smoke showed. The first due engines mounted their attack. The first due truck went to the roof. As all the normal operations fell into to place, the fire flashed in the attic. Very quickly the roof gave way, and tragedy fell with it. Three of interior firefighters were trapped. They were not able to escape or be rescued. We lost Brian, Phillip and Garry.
As we approach the ten year mark, we prepare to remember their sacrifice. More importantly we prepare to celebrate the lives that have impacted a community. Their legacy has evolved to influence the world in many ways. A foundation, called the Warm Place, has become a champion of their sacrifice. It is a place, a home really, for children who have lost their parents. As many of you who are familiar with the lives of Brian and Phillip, you understand the significance of this association. Brian was the father of two young children, with his third born a few months after his death. Phillip's first child was born while we attended Garry's funeral. While Garry did not have any children of his own, he left behind several nieces and nephews.
We have organized a day of remembrance and celebration on Feb. 15, 2009. Marking the ten years. We will be hosting a BBQ benefit for the Warm Place. It will be held at the River Oak Community Center, 5300 Blackstone Dr, in River Oaks Texas. From noon until 4pm. At 7pm we will hold a public memorial service, River Oaks Sta.13, 4900 River Oaks Blvd., River Oaks , Texas. All are invited, and we welcome you to visit with us.
As for me, I think it may have taken the full ten years to heal. I think this year I celebrate the love of my spouse and the love of my brothers. I hope you can join us.
Capt. Sta. 13
River Oaks , Texas