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2 Texas firefighters killed in action

Feb. 16, 2013 at 11:58 PM

BRYAN, Texas, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Two veteran firefighters were killed while fighting a fire that destroyed a Knights of Columbus hall in Bryan, Texas, city officials said.

Lt. Eric Wallace, 36, was pronounced dead at the scene of the three-alarm fire Friday night and Lt. Greg Pickard, 54, was pronounced dead Saturday at a hospital in Galveston, Bryan City Secretary Mary Lynn Stratta said.

Firefighters Ricky Mantey and Mitch Moran are being treated at a hospital for burns, WTAW-AM, College Station, Texas , reported. Stratta said they were listed in serious but stable condition.

Bryan Fire Chief Randy McGregor told reporters, "These four courageous individuals represent the best of the profession and are true heroes in every sense of the word."

Gov. Rick Perry authorized lowering flags in Texas to half staff.

The state fire marshal's office is investigating.

Stratta and Deputy Fire Marshal William Bouse said fire departments from across Texas have offered assistance to Bryan, including grief counseling for firefighters and volunteers who knew the victims, WTAW-AM said.

Wallace was a 13-year veteran of the department and Pickard had been with the department 32 years.

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