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Sister Stafford Firefighter – Line of Duty Death

June 4, 2013

Brothers and Sisters. A really big family. A universal bond one might explain by what we do – “enter buildings where others flee.”

Tragic potential consequence might also help explain the bond.

AnneSullivanHer name was Anne Sullivan. Anne was a volunteer firefighter for the Stafford Fire Department – Stafford, Texas. She was also a brand new Houston career firefighter and Friday was her first day to ride the pumper. And she was just twenty-four years old.

Stafford Fire Department Captain Douglas Ricks shared with me the basic information of what happened: “They were the second pumper to arrive on the scene of the fire. Because it was a hotel the decision was made to do a quick check of the lobby area to make sure no guests were still in it. The fire had apparently been burning for a while in the attic and as the crews of Engine 51 and 68 entered the lobby the whole ceiling collapsed. Anne and three other firefighters perished. Anne was the last member found during the recovery process.”

Captain Ricks said the crew is struggling with Anne’s death. Yesterday afternoon they met at the morgue along with a large Houston Fire Department contingent to escort the bodies from the morgue to the funeral home. Later that night they met with Anne’s family at one of the stations. They shared memorable firehouse stories about Anne with her mother.

What she did makes her one of our sisters. Belonging to a fire department named Stafford makes it seem like she was just that much closer.

Sister and brothers ~ Anne Sullivan ~ Matthew Renaud ~ Robert Bebee ~ Robert Garner ~ “Rest in Peace” ~

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