Veteran HFD firefighter dies of complications due to COVID-19

KTRK logo
Monday, August 3, 2020
Coronavirus symptoms, tips amid COVID-19 outbreak
Patients with COVID-19 experience mild to severe respiratory illnesses.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- For the second time in a matter of weeks, the Houston Fire Department is mourning the loss of one of their own due to COVID-19.

HFD Chief Samuel Pena announced Monday morning on Twitter that firefighter Jerry Pacheco, a 17-year veteran of the department, died from complications due to the virus.

Pacheco was assigned to Station 101 in Kingwood. He also has a son who is an HFD firefighter.

Just last week, HFD asked for prayers for Pacheco, who was in the ICU.

On July 20, the department lost a beloved captain to COVID-19.

HFD veteran Capt. Leroy Lucio had been on a ventilator for days.

Before Lucio's passing, his wife Eulalia "La La" Alaniz, kept an around-the-clock vigil right outside his first floor hospital window at PAM Specialty Hospital of San Antonio.

Alaniz was joined night and day for more than two weeks by Lucio's 28-year-old son and 41-year-old stepson. Firefighters from the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association joined them as well, supplying a tent for the group as they held out hope the 29-year HFD vet would improve.

Lucio's passing is considered a line-of-duty death, and the first for the Houston Fire Department from COVID-19.

RELATED: New photos show heartbreaking final days of HFD captain who died of COVID-19

Capt. Leroy Lucio's family maintained a vigil outside his hospital room for weeks.

Dispatchers stop asking 911 callers about COVID-19 symptoms, raising concerns for firefighters

Callers to 911 in Houston will no longer be asked if they are experiencing COVID-like symptoms, changing a months-long practice to pass on the information to first responders. Watch the video above to see what firefighters are now being told.