Firefighters save two lives while mourning

April 14, 2009 9:25:00 PM PDT
It's been a rough few days for Houston firefighters. They're mourning the loss of two of their own, but that's not stopping them from doing their jobs. Station 26, the station that lost the two men, played an integral part in Tuesday's rescue of two workers from a collapsed building in southeast Houston.[PHOTOS: See images from Tuesday's building collapse]
[VIEW BLDG. SCHEMATIC: See the blueprints]
[MAP: See location of accident]
[IMAGE: What the motel looked like before]

Station 26 is just a few miles away from the construction site at the Gulf Freeway near Griggs. It took tremendous teamwork among the firefighters. They used everything from handsaws to axes.

In a city the size of Houston, searching for and saving lives is a job that never ends.

"You never know what we're gonna do from day to day. Everybody works together," said HFD Rescue Chief Richard Cole.

Shoulder to shoulder, the firefighters worked with courage, commitment and compassion, chipping away at the task before them.

"We're always thinking about the victims because that's what we're here for. What we're trying to do is to divide it up into manageable pieces so we can clear a section," said Cole.

No matter what might be tearing at their hearts, their mission goes on. Right in the midst of the rubble were firefighters from Station 26, who Sunday lost two of their own. On Tuesday, the saved two lives.

"We have a high fatality rate with a lot of stuff we do. It's a very time-sensitive mission which is why we train for stuff like this so that when we get here we can be effective because it is so time-sensitive," said Cole.

As they look back on one job as it ends, they leave always ready for the next call to begin.

With the teamwork of at least 75 firefighters at the scene, they were able to reach the first victim within 20 minutes.

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