LFR Fire Fighters Honor Fallen Brother With Volunteer Service in Houston

LUBBOCK,TX - Lubbock Fire Rescue fire fighters returned home from Houston after manning their stations for a "fallen brother."

"We went down there to support the Houston Fire Department and let their members go to a funeral of a fallen brother that was injured in a hotel roof collapse back in 2013," LFR Fire Fighter Blake Gibson said.

Gibson was one of eight Lubbock Fire Fighters to carry out their 48 hour mission.

On May 31, 2013, a Southwest Inn fire took the lives of four Houston fire fighters and caused career-ending and life-alterning injuries for Captain William "Iron Bill" Dowling. 

Almost four years later, officials told KLBK and EverythingLubbock.com that Dowling passed away from complications from his injuries on March 7. 

So the Houston Fire Department could attend his funeral, hundred of fire fighters from across the state volunteered their time to man the fire stations across the city Wednesday. 

"It was an honor to go down there and support those guys," Gibson said. 

"It's under sad circumstances, we wish that we didn't have to be there but we're just glad to be able to offer whatever small assistance that we can," LFR Battalion Chief Nick Wilson.  "We know that they would do the same for us."

Gibson said their eight fire fighters were spread out through three different stations, all working 12 hour shifts. 

"We were in car wrecks, a few medical alarms, a few guys had fire alarms," Gibson said. "They're pretty quick paced. Their equipment is a lot similar to ours, there are some differences of course. But they were great to go over those with us."

"As much as things are different in other cities, it's a lot of the same things when you get on the engine," Wilson said. "Even though the equipment and a lot of the terminology is different, as soon as the alarm goes off you go to being a fireman and doing what firemen do."

Thousands of people were able to attend Dowling's funeral at 8:45 Wednesday morning to honor his sacrifice. 


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