The hero known as Iron Bill was recently hospitalized with pneumonia and cellulitis, according to a Facebook page managed by his wife.
On May 31, 2013, Capt. Dowling was injured while fighting a massive fire at the Southwest Inn motel along the Southwest Freeway. He lost both legs after they were pinned beneath burning debris. Four heroes were killed in the five-alarm fire: Robert Bebee, Robert Garner, Matthew Renaud, and Anne Sullivan.
"There were 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," then-HFD Fire Chief Terry Garrison said as Dowling was released from the hospital.
@FirefightersHOU mourn the loss of "Iron Bill" Dowling, who heroically fought to recover from injuries sustained in the 2013 SW Inn fire.— Houston Firefighters (@FirefightersHOU) March 8, 2017
My thoughts and prayers for the family, friends and Firefighters of Capt. Bill Dowling who was injured in the 2013 Southwest Inn Fire. st— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) March 8, 2017
The Klein ISD family is sad to report that Klein Oak alum Captain "Iron Bill" Dowling passed away today. He was a hero and will be missed.— Klein ISD (@KleinISD) March 8, 2017