Captain Injured In Tragic Incident That Killed Four Firefighters Is Released From Hospital

It's been six months since a motel fire in southwest Houston killed four firefighters and injured 13. Today, the last firefighter was released from the hospital.


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Fire Chief Terry Garrison
Fire Chief Terry Garrison speaking about Captain Bill Dowling’s release.

It was a happy moment for the Houston Fire Department, which is still recovering from the most fatal day in its history, May 31. Firefighters lined up outside Memorial Hermann Hospital’s emergency department and applauded when Captain Bill Dowling left the hospital in a wheelchair.

Fire Chief Terry Garrison says he knew this day would come because of the strength of Dowling’s family and especially his wife Jacki.

“So you start with that and then you add what our firefighters did on the scene. There was dozens of acts of heroism that took place that day and our firefighters got Bill out of that situation and gave him the first chance of survival and the pre-hospital care. And then it was followed by the excellent care here.”

He also says he’s grateful for the support from the entire Houston community.

Capt Bill Dowling leaves in fire engine
A salute is given to honor Captain Bill Dowling as he heads home in Fire Engine 68.

“I have never seen a community come together so strongly to support one family and one individual, and on behalf of the nearly 4,000 men and women at the Houston Fire Department it is my opportunity to thank the citizens.”

Dowling was severely burned in the May 31 fire and had both of his legs amputated.

He’ll now be able to spend Thanksgiving at home.

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