Support pours in for fallen HFD firefighters as memorial plans underway


People across the area who have been touched by this tragedy are grieving and healing together. And donations have poured into the 100 Club.

The Sharpstown Civic Association is honoring the four fallen firefighters by wrapping red and blue ribbons around trees along esplanades in Bellaire. Residents say it's a visual reminder of the first responders who protected their neighborhood.

"These are the guys we see at the grocery store," said Jim Bigham with the Sharpstown Civic Association. "These are the guys down the street. It's just a real gut punch for the neighborhood."

  • Captain EMT Matthew Renaud, 35, of Engine 51. He began his career with the Houston Fire Department in October of 2001 and in addition to Fire Station 68, has served out of stations 51, 39, 83, 73, 37, 60 and 35.
  • Engineer Operator EMT Robert Bebee, 41, of Station 51. He began his career with the Houston Fire Department in August of 2001 and in addition to Fire Station 51, has served out of Stations 37, 40, 10 and 48.
  • Firefighter EMT Robert Garner, 29, of Station 68. He began his career with the Houston Fire Department in October of 2010 and has served out of Fire Station 68 since.
  • Probationary Firefighter Anne Sullivan, 24, of Station 68. She graduated from Houston Fire Department Academy this past April and was assigned to Fire Station 68. This was only her second fire.
  • They will all be memorialized in a service Wednesday morning at 10am at Reliant Stadium.

    As many as 40,000 people are expected for the memorial. A service for a single fallen firefighter is a logistical challenge, but holding one for four who died is an undertaking the magnitude of which neither the Houston Fire Department nor its firefighter's union have ever seen before.

    Plans are now in the works for hundreds of firefighters from Dallas, Austin and other areas to come and work Wednesday so that all Houston firefighters who want to can attend the memorial service.

    The fire department has not yet released info on parking or the procession that will accompany the memorial.

    The cause of the fire at the Southwest Inn is still under investigation. The Houston Fire Department Arson Division is taking the lead, with assistance from the State Fire Marshal's Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Houston Police Department.

    An HFD spokesperson tells us that Arson investigators are now seeking witnesses to the tragic blaze. Anyone who has information that may help investigators is urged to call 713-247-8900.

    Three of the 13 firefighters injured remain hospitalized. One firefighter was listed in critical condition. The other two are in stable and good condition.

    The 100 Club is supporting the victims and families. Anyone interested in donating can do so online at

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