Houston firefighter dies from COVID-19 complications despite experimental drug trial

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Monday, September 14, 2020
HFD Capt. Tommy Searcy's body escorted to funeral home
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The body of Tommy Searcy, an HFD captain who died, following a battle with COVID-19, is escorted to the funeral home.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston Fire captain has died from complications after being infected with COVID-19.

Tommy Searcy, 45, who was an 18-year veteran with the Houston Fire Department, is another member of HFD to pass away recently in the wake of the pandemic.

After he tested positive for coronavirus, he was given an experimental COVID-19 medication to fight the virus.

According to the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association, Searcy died Tuesday in a hospital in The Woodlands.

Tuesday afternoon, a procession of police and fire trucks escorted his body to Klein Funeral Home in Tomball. Civilians lined the streets. Some held signs. A wall of firefighters saluted Searcy's casket as it was taken inside.

SEE MORE: HFD family hopes for experimental COVID drug

"We've been praying for him for a month now. It's just really sad," said Amy Faulk , who brought her children to watch the procession. "He's a hero."

"This was very shocking to all of us," said Jason Herrman, the training chief for the Magnolia Fire Department where Searcy also volunteered.

Last month, the fire union said the experimental treatment made by NeuroRx was given to Searcy following an approval and an emergency escort to get it to him.

Searcy's death, just like those of other HFD firefighters who died from COVID-19 or complications after getting the viris, will be classified as a line-of-duty death, the fire union said.

"We mourn the loss of our firefighter friend and brother, Tommy Searcy. Please keep Tommy's family, friends and station crew in your thoughts and prayers. Capt. Searcy leaves behind a loving family, many friends and a long list of Houston firefighters who respected and enjoyed serving with him. We are praying for his three daughters, Kaylin, Krista and Kinley, and his twin brother, Tony, who is a senior captain in HFD," HPFFA President Patrick M. "Marty" Lancton said.

According to a statement from HFD, Searcy entered the department in August 2002 and was promoted to Captain in 2013. He served most of his career at Fire Station 46 in southeast Houston.

In 2014, Searcy was assigned to Fire Station 67 in northwest Houston where he last served. Searcy is a father of three and has a twin brother, who is also a Houston firefighter.

"The Houston Fire Department is devastated by the loss of one of our most outstanding fire officers," says Chief Samuel Peña. "Tommy was a highly decorated 18-year veteran, an exceptional firefighter, a selfless teammate, and a tireless public servant."

Details of the memorial service for Capt. Searcy will be announced as soon as possible, the HPFFA said.

Earlier this year, two of Searcy's colleagues, firefighter Jerry Pacheco and Capt. Leroy Lucio, each lost their battles against the virus.


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