"They were low on air and needed assistance. At that point, the order was given to evacuate the building," says Chief Randy McGregor of the Bryan, Texas Fire Department.
Two firefighters of the Bryan Fire and Rescue Department were killed in the line of duty.
This tragedy has affected firefighters all over the nation, even here, in Abilene.
"It hits home a lot whenever we hear of other firefighters that have gone down like this," says Ben Cotton of the Abilene Fire Department.
Several Abilene firefighters knew the first responders at this particular fire because many of them completed training together at the academy in Bryan, Texas.
"We're a brotherhood all the way around," Cotton continues.
So when one brother falls, the others feel it. But Cotton says, it is important not to dwell.
He says, "I mean we go out on the front line everyday and anybody who is a civil service worker and on the front lines, i mean, we know in the back of our heads that this can be the outcome at the end of our day."
Which is what Cotton says makes him more cautious when he puts his life on the line each day.
The Abilene Fire Department has implemented new Compressed Air Foam (CAF) systems on their engines, to help fight the blaze without responders having to come into direct contact with fires.
Cotton says, "We're constantly learning about different ways we can go about fighting structure fires and be the safest while we're doing it too."
In this line of work, some things are inevitable. But each day is a new one, and each day, these first responders try their hardest to save not only the lives of civilians, but also,the lives of each other.
Chaplain Chris Hale, who is the chaplain for the Abilene Fire Department and the state of Texas traveled to Bryan on Friday to help the victim's families.
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