Two firefighters from Bryan remain in serious condition at the University of Texas Medical Branch's Burn Unit in Galveston as of late Monday night, both badly burned during a rescue operation to help save a fellow firefighter in danger. Their condition has been confirmed by a member of the UTMB Staff - two other firefighters died after responding to the same fire.
Firefighter Ricky Mantey, Jr. and probationary firefighter Mitch Moran are both undergoing treatment at the Blocker Burn Unit.
A third injured member of the force, Lieutenant Gregory Pickard, died Saturday from his injuries at the same hospital.
Bryan Fire officials tell us their injuries were sustained while attempting to aid a fourth fireman at the scene of a large fire Friday at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Bryan. The fire completely destroyed the building, which caught fire just after 11 p.m.
Lieutenant Eric Wallace, was reportedly inside the building to put out the flames and was running out of oxygen. Mantey, Moran, and Pickard were designated as members of a rapid intervention team deployed to help firemen in the event of an unexpected emergency. While the four men were inside, fire officials say the building's roof collapsed, causing the men to face extreme heat inside the burning building.
The three members of the rapid intervention team were taken by ambulance to St. Joseph Hospital in Bryan before being flown by helicopter to UTMB Galveston. Lt. Wallace died at the scene.
Hospital officials tell us it could be a long recovery for both of the survivors and that there is no word yet on exactly how long their stay might last.
Ricky Mantey, 30, has been with the Bryan Fire Department for five years. His colleagues describe him as a dependable and an enthusiastic member of the force.
Probationary Bryan firefighter Mitch Moran, 21, has been with the Bryan Fire Department for about 11 months. His co-workers describe him as a dedicated worker who was eager to learn while on duty with BFD.
UTMB's website says the Blocker Burn Unit specializes in the treatment of thermal, chemical and radiation burns, as well as research related to burns, trauma, sepsis and tissue repair. It claims the highest survival rate of patients with major burn injury of all hospitals in the U.S., with a rate of more than 80%.