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Two Bryan firemen killed, two injured

Published: Monday, February 18, 2013

Updated: Monday, February 18, 2013 00:02

Two Bryan firefighters died and two remain injured after responding to a fire Friday night at the Knights of Columbus Hall in downtown Bryan. 

Lt. Eric Wallace, 36, died from injuries after becoming trapped in the burning structure after a portion of the roof reportedly collapsed.

Lt. Greg Pickard, 54, died Saturday afternoon at a Galveston hospital where firefighter Ricky Mantey, 30, and probationary firefighter Mitch Moran, 21, had also been flown.

Mantey and Moran remain in serious but stable condition, according to Bryan fire chief Randy McGregor on Sunday morning.

The three had reportedly entered the building as a rapid intervention team to help Wallace after he called for assistance because he was low on oxygen.

Friday’s blaze caused what McGregor has called the worst tragedy in the history of the Bryan Fire Department.

"These four courageous individuals represent the best of the profession and are true heroes in every sense of the word," McGregor said at a press conference Saturday morning.

Wallace, a 13-year veteran of the department, is survived by his wife Brandie and five children ranging in age from 11 months to 16 years.

The funeral for Wallace will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at First Baptist Church of Bryan. The funeral procession will carry him to the Hillcrest Cemetery in Marlin.

Pickard, who had been with the department for 32 years, is survived by his wife Susie, two adult children and three grandchildren. Pickard's wife is a teacher with Bryan ISD and his son is a firefighter in College Station.

Arrangements for Pickard’s burial and funeral are pending.

The deaths of Wallace and Pickard are the 2nd and 3rd in the line of duty for the 141-year-old fire department. The first was Richard Lopez in 1978.

Gov. Rick Perry authorized the lowering of the Texas flag to half-staff by all governmental entities in the area to honor the fallen.

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