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The Precious Faith fire, ten years later.

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.

Marty Mayes
Capt. Sta. 13
River Oaks , Texas

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Comment by Aaron Marquez on February 12, 2009 at 11:57pm
Brother Words cannot explain how I feel about this fire and those involved. Coming From Sta. 13 as a Rookie and being raised by you guys until I moved to another Fd close by. I was just finishing my second year in the fire service. Starting my thrid. This fire molded and shaped my views about the service. I fought with the fact that something I loved doing had a possibility of taking my life. I also had to deal with the loss of my mother a month later after this fire. I saw first hand what a LODD could do a Department and the community. The history of this event follows me into my life as a firefighter. I went from mourning my fellow brothers to attending my first rit class to the fire academy during those times this event became part of the lesson plan of those classes. I learned from this event. I also remember when Brian taught me how important it is to learn your tools to learning the buildings in your district. What hazards they hold. Start looking fro egress points I learned from what Phillip Taught me about Pulling ceiling and aggressive fire attack. I learn from Gary being a fellow rookie from the neighboring department about this service. I learned to use this event as a learning experience as a company officer to teach my rookies and fellow brothers of what to expect and how important it to train and learn all aspects of this noble service. By all means I am no expert but I will until the Day I die learn to keep up on my skills and operate in a safe manner. Most of all I learned to always cherish everyday I am alive. To spend everyday as my last. I spend my extra time with my family. To listen to that fellow member who has personal problem. To always thanking GOD for my time here.

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