HOUSTON -- Two Bryan firefighters are in serious but stable condition Sunday as investigators try to determine what sparked a lodge hall fire Friday night that killed two colleagues.
Bryan city spokeswoman Mary Lynne Stratta said Sunday that Ricky Mantey Jr. and Mitchel Moran are recovering at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Both suffered burns.
A doctor at the burn unit said Saturday afternoon that the firefighters may be hospitalized for more than a month due to their injuries.
Fire department officials have planned a news conference Sunday to provide additional details on the investigation.
The fire broke out late Friday at an unoccupied Knights of Columbus Hall. The roof collapsed during the blaze.
Lt. Eric Wallace died at the scene, and Lt. Gregory Pickard died later Saturday at UTMB.
Wallace is survived by his wife, Brandie, and five children ranging in age from 16 years to 11 months, Stratta said. Pickard is survived by his wife, Susie, who is a teacher for the Bryan Independent School District, two children and three grandchildren. Pickard’s son, Jake, is a College Station firefighter.
Services for Wallace are scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday at First Baptist Church in Bryan. Services are pending for Pickard.
Wallace was a 13-year veteran with BFD, while Pickard has been with department for 32 years, according to the city of Bryan. Wallace died while fighting the fire which began at about 11:20 p.m. at the building located in the 1500 block of Groesbeck Drive. Firefighters from Bryan and nearby College Station were called to the scene to battle the blaze.
Stratta said Wallace’s team went into the structure, but was ordered to evacuate.
Wallace didn’t come out and called for help, saying he was low on air. She said rapid response units found Wallace, a 13-year veteran, inside. An early report indicated Wallace became trapped when a portion of the roof collapsed.
Mantey has served BFD for five years, and Moran for 10 months.
There will be a candlelight vigil for the fallen firefighters at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Merrill Green Stadium in Bryan. Gates open at 6:30 p.m.
According to KBTX-TV, a relief account has been set up at Wells Fargo for the fallen and injured firefighters’ families. Donations can be made to the Benefit Donation account for the Bryan Fire Department:
Wells Fargo Bank, Main Branch
Bryan, TX 77802
Attn: Bryan Firefighter Fund