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Thread: LODD Texas 1 Firefighter Dies, 4 Injured In House Fire

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    LODD Texas 1 Firefighter Dies, 4 Injured In House Fire

    1 Firefighter Dies, 4 Injured In House Fire
    Cause Of Fire Not Yet Known

    POSTED: 4:52 p.m. CST December 20, 2004
    UPDATED: 5:27 p.m. CST December 20, 2004


    Story by Click2Houston

    BAYTOWN, Texas -- One Baytown firefighter died and four other firefighters were injured battling a house fire Monday afternoon, officials told Local 2.

    The blaze broke out at about 3 p.m. in the garage of a home in the 4800 block of Burning Tree in the Country Club neighborhood.

    The one-story home was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. The blaze gutted the structure.

    The injured firefighters received second-degree burns and were taken to San Jacinto Hospital for treatment.

    Officials said the fallen firefighter, who worked out of Station One, would be missed.



    "He's an outstanding young man, a good firefighter, liked by everybody. It's a devastating blow," said Howard Gudgell, the Baytown fire marshal.

    Officials do not yet know the cause of the fire or exactly what went wrong. The Houston Fire Department will assist in the investigation.

    "It's really tough. This is the first firefighter we've lost in close to 30 years," Gudgell said.




    Copyright 2004 by Click2Houston.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    BAYTOWN, Texas (AP) -- One firefighter died and four others were injured Monday while battling a house fire that quickly became too intense.

    Eight firefighters were inside the house before the heat forced them to evacuate.

    ``Something in there went wrong,'' Lt. Howard Gudgell, an investigator with the Baytown Fire Marshal's Office, said in a story in Tuesday's Houston Chronicle.

    Firefighters realized after they retreated that Nito Guajardo, 24, was missing. Guajardo was a rookie who had been with the department for almost a year.

    Three of the injured firefighters were treated for second-degree burns and released Monday night. A fourth was still undergoing tests late Monday.

    Guajardo's death was the first of a firefighter in the town in 30 years. His body was found in a foyer near the living room. Paramedics tried to revive him but were unsuccessful.

    The cause of the fire had not been determined late Monday. No one was at home at the time of the fire.

    Information from: Houston Chronicle


    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...Id=39&id=37641

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    Baytown firefighter killed

    Baytown firefighter killed
    Blaze at house claims rookie and injures 4 others
    By ROSANNA RUIZ
    Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle
    A Baytown firefighter died and four others were injured Monday after a house fire they were battling quickly spread and became too intense, fire officials said.

    Nito Guajardo, 24, of League City, was a rookie who had been with the Baytown Fire Department for almost a year.

    The four other firefighters were taken to San Jacinto Methodist Hospital, where they were treated for second-degree burns, mostly to their arms. Three were released late Monday, while tests were being done on the fourth.

    Guajardo's death is the first for this east Harris County community in nearly 30 years.

    The fire in the 4800 block of Burning Tree in the Country Club Oaks subdivision was reported at 3:11 p.m. and the first firefighters arrived four minutes later, said Lt. Howard Gudgell, an investigator with the Baytown Fire Marshal's office.

    All four of Baytown's fire engines, a ladder truck, and two ambulances were sent to the blaze. Eight firefighters, including two lieutenants, initially went into the brick home, unaware whether anyone was inside. They were forced out after the blaze became too hot, Gudgell said.

    "Something in there went wrong," Gudgell said. Once outside, the firefighters realized Guajardo was missing.

    Officials are investigating, but Gudgell said nothing was "procedurally done wrong." No one was inside the house when the fire broke out.

    Guajardo, who was engaged, was reported missing at 3:25 p.m., Gudgell said. Baytown firefighters continued to fight the blaze from the outside until they were able to re-enter and search for him. Guajardo's body was found in a foyer at 3:44 p.m. and brought to the front lawn, where paramedics tried unsuccessfully to revive him through cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

    Neighbor Tom Badgett said he saw the firefighters carry the injured firefighter, his entire jacket charred, from the burning house. As white smoke filled the air, Badgett said he heard the firefighters calling out, "We need help! We need help!"

    "The paramedics helped him immediately and then they whisked him off as soon as they could," Badgett said.

    Federal Bureau of Alcohol,Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents and state fire marshals were interviewing neighbors Monday night . ATF was called in for additional manpower for the investigation, while the state automatically responds when a firefighter dies in the line of duty.

    The investigators did not determine the cause of the fire late Monday and the investigation should take several days to complete, Gudgell said.

    Meanwhile, Baytown firefighters gathered outside the ambulance entrance of the hospital's emergency room and remembered their fallen colleague.

    "He was a brother. I knew him as a family member," said Chris Barrera, 30. He described Guajardo as a "good, quiet guy."

    The department had 85 members. "We're a pretty close-knit family," said Gudgell, a 28-year veteran. "You get to know each other very well."

    Guajardo had worked at Fire Station No. 1, where the flag was at half-staff Monday night. A wreath with white flowers and a black ribbon was placed in front of the flag pole.

    Dan Dubiel, who retired from the department last year after a quarter-century career, remembered the last time a firefighter died in the line of duty. Capt. Kenneth Rowe died of a heart attack while battling a house fire in 1976, Dubiel said.

    In April, Houston firefighter Kevin Kulow, 32, died after becoming trapped in a burning nightclub in northwest Houston. Two men and a woman now face murder charges, accused of setting the blaze.Jason Spencer contributed to this report.

    jason.spencer@chron.com

    rosanna.ruiz@chron.com
    http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory...pstory/2956932

    photo below
    Dave Rossman / Chronicle
    Baytown firefighters Aaron Smith, Bill Baylis and Victor Medina look over the site of the house fire where one of their comrades died. The rookie firefighter had been with the department less than a year.

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    Funeral Information

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Funeral Information Is As Follows
    The viewing will be held Thursday, December 23, all day, at The Forest Park Funeral Home, 21620 Gulf Freeway, Webster, Texas. For more information you can call The Forest Park Funeral Home at (281) 332-3111.

    The funeral will be held Friday, December 24, at 10 a.m. at The Grace Community Church, 14505 Gulf Freeway, Houston Texas. Burial will immediately follow the funeral.

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    Funeral Held Today For Fallen, Baytown Texas Firefighter

    Updated: 12-24-2004 01:21:38 PM

    Funeral Held Today For Fallen, Baytown Texas Firefighter


    Heather L. Nicholson
    Courtesy of The Bay Town Sun

    More than 50 fire trucks are expected to line 10 miles of the Gulf Freeway today for fallen Baytown firefighter Nito Guajardo. A vehicular funeral procession will make its way from a Houston church service to a Webster cemetery around 11 a.m. Sections of the freeway

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