Fire at Texas strip mall leaves firefighter dead, 2 others injured

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SAN ANTONIO (AP)

A San Antonio firefighter has died and two others are seriously hurt after a fire swept through a local shopping mall, where parts of the building collapsed and forced crews to retreat.

San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood says firefighters entered the strip mall Thursday evening because there were still people inside.

Witnesses said people fled the flames and firefighters pulled back as the building weakened.

Authorities later learned that one firefighter, Scott Deem, was missing.

The six-year department veteran was later found dead in the debris.

About 100 firefighters stood in salute as an ambulance carried his body away early Friday.

Officials say another firefighter suffered critical injuries and a second was seriously hurt.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement expressing sympathy to the fallen firefighter’s family.

“Those who put their lives on the line to serve others deserve our deepest respect, and we can never say thank you enough. In the days to come, we ask that all Texans join us in sending their well wishes to those injured in this incident for a full and speedy recovery, and in keeping everyone affected by this fire in their thoughts and prayers,” he said.