Firefighting, Health & Safety

Houston Fire Captain Injured in Department’s Deadliest Fire to be Released from Hospital

The fire captain who was injured battling a 5-alarm fire at a southwest Houston motel that killed four firefighters will be released from the hospital on Wednesday, reports KHOU.com.

Houston Fire Department units and personnel will line the streets to salute Captain Bill Dowling as he leaves Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center and finally head home. Engine 68 will carry the captain down North Macgregor Way to Highway 288, then on to I-45 North. Volunteer Fire Departments will also be staged along the route outside the city limits.

Captain Dowling lost both of his legs and suffered brain damage after getting trapped in the fire on May 31, which has become known as the deadliest day in the Houston Fire Department’s 118-year history.

Dowling was trapped in the fire with his legs pinned by burning debris. He was awake and alert when he was rescued and shouted to his fellow firefighters to let his wife know he would be okay, but his condition began to worsen soon after. After the medical amputation and he began to awake from several weeks of sedation, it became apparent that he suffered hypoxia. The condition left him barely able to communicate.

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