Two Bryan Firefighters remain in serious but stable condition today after a deadly fire on Friday. Two other Bryan firefighters were killed.
Fire Lieutenant Eric Wallace, 36, died in the line of duty and Fire Lieutenant Greg Pickard, 54, passed away late Saturday afternoon as a result of his injuries. Firefighters Ricky Mantey and Mitch Moran are being treated for burns at a Galveston hospital.
The firefighters were responding to a fire around 11:20 p.m. on Friday at the Knight of Columbus building in Bryan. When the fire couldn’t be contained, the team was ordered to evacuate, but Lt. Wallace didn’t emerge – that’s when a Rapid Intervention Team of Lt. Pickard, Mantey, and Moran were sent in to rescue Lt. Wallace. The team's sole purpose is to rescue responders in trouble.
“These four courageous individuals represent the best of the profession and are true heroes in every sense of the word,” Bryan Fire Chief Randy McGregor said.
A candlelight vigil was held Sunday evening for the firefighters.
Lt. Wallace is survived by his wife, Brandie, and five children, ranging in age from 16 years to 11 months. Lt. Wallace served 13 years with the Bryan Fire Department.
Lt. Pickard leave behind his wife Susie, a Bryan Independent School District teacher, two children, and three grandchildren. Lt. Pickard’s son, Jake, is a College Station firefighter. Pickard served with the Bryan Fire Department for 32 years.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. The State Fire Marshal’s office is investigating in conjunction with the Bryan Department and Bryan Police Department. Officials say it could take as long as a month to determine the cause of the fire.
Purportedly no activities were occurring at the hall when the fire was reported.