As Houston prepares to say good bye to Matthew Renaud, Anne Sullivan, Robert Garner and Robert Beebe in a memorial service that starts at 10 o’clock this morning at Reliant Stadium, members of Stations 51 and 68 talked about their friends, especially Sullivan.
“The one thing about Anne that people underestimated was that what she lacked in physical stature she made up with sheer determination,” one fireman told our television partner Local 2.
Another colleague said the last five days have been difficult.
“Someone said they couldn’t put this uniform on again. How can you possibly dishonor the people that we lost by not carrying on what we do? Never forget. Never quit,” another fireman said.
Texans to attend service
Governor Rick Perry and Houston Mayor Annise Parker will be there this morning, as will the entire Houston Texans team. Coach Gary Kubiak says it was an easy decision.
“It means a lot to us to be there to show support for the families and to our community. We are looking forward to being there,” Coach Gary Kubiak said after the team’s practice on Tuesday.
Quarterback Matt Schaub says it's the right thing to do.
“As players and members of this community, for us to show our support says a lot about what we are and about what this city is about,” Schaub said.
Firefighters coming from far and wide
Your morning commute in Houston will have delays as the procession starting at 6a.m. starts its way in.
Police escorts on I-10 East and West, US 290, US 59 North and I-45 South will all be effected during rush hour. Drivers should expect delays throughout the morning.
Once inside 610 Loop, the Firefighters Memorial procession will head along Kirby drive beginning around 8a.m. to 10a.m.. Kirby will be closed between La Concha and South Loop 610 during those hours. Early attendees are allowed to view the procession along the Kirby Drive sidewalk and from the south parking lot of Reliant Stadium once inside and parked safely.
Drivers should expect delays around the area after the memorial as well.
Not only will Houstonians be in attendance this morning.
Firefighters from all over the country and even Canada are expected to attend the service. Zane Krempin of the Dallas Fire Fighters Pipes and Drums has made the trip. He told KTRH his brothers here just did the same for his Dallas family.
“Just last week we lost a brother. There were four members of Houston Pipes and Drums that came here to support us, honor him and play at his service,” Krempin said.
Krempin says the Fallen Four are worthy of this kind of sendoff.
“Those four deserve everything we can give them. They gave everything for the city of Houston,” Krempin explained.
And firefighters aren't just coming from Dallas. Jeff Caynon of the Houston Professional Firefighters Association says you'd be surprised who is making the trip.
“I’ve talked to friends in Chicago, New York, Florida and California. You could see firefighters here from as far away as California,” Caynon said.
Caynon says this is how a fraternity comes together in tough times.
“It’s a family. We all feel losses like this. We all make it a point to celebrate the lives of those that are lost in the line of duty,” Caynon explained.
Investigators hope to wrap up their work at the hotel in about a week and a half and are looking hard at the area above the kitchen. Deputy Chief Ed Arthur says they'll get their answers.
“We have the best and the brightest out here. I’m very optimistic. I feel very confident,” Arthur told reporters at the scene of the fire.
Arthur talked about what they are looking at.
“There are a few layers of roof that may have been a contributing factor. But, we aren’t ready to state that as such.” Arthur explained. “We are concentrating at the area above the kitchen. We are looking at several aspects of this scene including sources of ignition and the reason for the roof collapse.”
Arthurs said the work at the site will end in about two weeks but the final report won’t come out for months.