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Houston Pays Tribute To A Fallen Firefighter

Fire departments from all over Texas will take part in the memorial for the man known as “Iron Bill.”

Houston Professional Firefighters President Marty Lancton announces plans for Captain William Dowling’s memorial service.

Captain William Dowling suffered severe injuries in 2013 while battling a five-alarm fire at the Southwest Inn. Four other firefighters were killed in what was the deadliest fire in Houston Fire Department history.

Dowling was left disabled and the department says he’ll be given the honors of a firefighter killed in the line of duty.

A memorial will be held for Dowling Wednesday morning. A procession will start at 8:45 on Belin Drive at the Southwest Freeway and will proceed to Fondren Road. It will then turn into the Houston Baptist University campus.

The memorial service begins at 10:00 at HBU’s Morris Cultural Arts Center. Houston Fire Department Spokesman Captain Ruy Lozano:

“All Houstonians are invited,” says Lozano. “This is a public memorial service. If you are unable to attend, we really want you to try to avoid the area.”  

Firefighters from other departments are filling in at Houston fire stations so Dowling’s colleagues can attend the memorial. That includes firefighter Al Goebel, who worked with Dowling for over a decade at Station 19 in the Fifth Ward.  

“I remember Bill as a family man, a church man, a good firefighter and a great friend,” says Goebel.

After the public memorial, a private service will be held for Dowling’s family.

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Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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