A firefighter died and two others were seriously injured battling a massive four-alarm shopping center fire in San Antonio, officials said Friday.
San Antonio firefighter Scott Eights and the other two firefighters were performing a search in the shopping mall during the Thursday night fire when they were reported missing.
Eights, a six-year member of the department, was found dead under the rubble.
The other two were rescued. A was released from the hospital; the other was reported in critical but stable condition.
“Last night we had our worst day,” Fire Chief Charles Hood said at a press conference Friday, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
Intense flames forced firefighters to withdraw when parts of the building collapsed, impeding the search for Deem.
“It was a very rough decision to leave a fire behind, Hood told reporters at the scene. “That is not what we do, but we had the risk of losing probably an extra 15 to 20 firefighters as we are not defensive on this fire.”
He said the firefighter was released from the hospital had fought with the ambulance at the place, because he wanted to go back and search for Deem, Fox 29 San Antonio reported.
An ambulance brought to Consider the body as about 100 firefighters stood in formation and saluted.
The Express-News reported that Eights was 31. He leaves behind two children and a woman who is pregnant.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.